Ombudsman Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Ombudsman for the City of Detroit?

Mr. Bruce Simpson is serving as Detroit's Fifth and youngest Ombudsman in history!
He is a member of the United States Ombudsman Association, DTE Community Advisory Board, the Municipal League of Cities, the Governmental Financial Officers Association, an active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Incorporated, and a strong advocate for “Improving the Quality of Life on a Daily Basis."

When do I contact the Office of the Ombudsman?

You may contact the Office of the Ombudsman any time that you feel you have been treated unfairly by the action of a city department. We encourage you to first attempt to resolve the problem by first contacting the department.  Often the city departments are genuinely concerned with handling citizen complaints regarding City services. If the response you receive is still inadequate, you may escalate your concern by contacting the Office of the Ombudsman.

For a listing of City departments and contact information (enter on the link and click on departments)

What City Services Can the Office of the Ombudsman Assist With?

Abandoned Vehicles
Catch Basins/Sewers
Fallen Tree-Blocking the Easement of the Sidewalk or Streets
Illegal Dumping
Income Tax
Lighting Outages
Property Assessment
Property Tax
Rodent Control
Snow Removal
Trash pickup - Trash Container/Bulk Pick-Up Items
Tree Removal/Trimming on Berm Area (ONLY)
Vacant and dangerous buildings
Water Main Breaks
Water Systems
Weed Cutting

How do I contact the Office of the Ombudsman?

Office Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

(313) 224-6000                            

Email Us:  [email protected]



U.S. mail and Walk-ins: 
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center 
2 Woodward Ave, Room 114, 

Detroit, MI 48226-3413 

(Parking Instructions) Please remember to look at your parking zone, use the parking meter and pay for your parking, or download the parking app and follow the instructions)

If you choose to send a letter or an e-mail to the Office of the Ombudsman, please follow the instruction below:

  • Address the letter to the Ombudsman, Bruce Simpson, City Ombudsman

                 2 Woodward Avenue, Room 114, Detroit, MI 48226-3413

Clearly state the location, the nature of the matter, and the dates of your complaint. 
Explain the action that you desire.

What should I do when contacting the Office of the Ombudsman?
  • Organize your facts.
  • Provide your information to substantiate your complaint.
  • Determine the outcome necessary to remedy the complaint.
  • Know that complainants will receive follow-up via email or telephone. that contact was made with the necessary City Department.
  • Expect that responses may take up to 60 days.
  • Gather the name of the person with whom you spoke.
  • Remember your case number and keep a file, if necessary
  • Ask to speak to a supervisor if you are not satisfied.
May I remain anonymous when filing a complaint?

Yes.  Should a person making a complaint desire to remain anonymous, the OOIG will comply with that wish and keep that person’s identity confidential.

What is the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman may investigate any official act of any agency except elective officers which aggrieves any person. The authority of the Ombudsman extends equally to all agencies. However, with respect to any investigation authorized by this Charter to be made by an agency having subpoena power, the Ombudsman may only investigate and report whether the agency's investigation and hearing, if any, was conducted fully and fairly. The Ombudsman may establish procedures for receiving and processing complaints, conducting investigations and hearings, and reporting findings. No fee shall be levied for the filing or investigation of complaints.

Is the service of the Ombudsman office limited to the City of Detroit residents?

 No. Any individual or business that has a complaint/inquiry about a city of Detroit service, may contact our office. 

When there is blight or illegal dumping on private property does the City of Detroit remove it?

No. A property owner is responsible to maintain blight or illegal dumping within 10 feet of the property owner’s home. In addition, the property owner is also responsible to maintain the area from the middle of the street to their property, and to the middle of the alley of their home.