State Representative Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) has called for the resignation of the Department of Civil Rights Director Agustin Arbulu, who was formally reprimanded in early August for making inappropriate comments about women.
Anthony said that Arbulu has shown he is “not fit” for his position.
“I am deeply disturbed by the commission’s choice to retain him in this position despite the findings of their investigation,” Anthony said in a statement. “We must hold our leaders accountable for their actions to truly protect the safety and rights of all Michiganders, which is why I am calling on the director to resign immediately.”
Time’s up. https://t.co/b27hRZ4nDs
— Sarah Anthony (@SarahAnthony517) August 12, 2019
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission said on August 2 that had it voted to reprimand Arbulu for “comments that they deemed inappropriate.” The MCRC investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination.
“We have determined that while the conduct of which the director was accused did not violate the law, his behavior fell short of the conduct the commission expects of its director,” said Commission Chair Alma Wheeler Smith in a statement.
A formal reprimand was placed in the director’s file and he will complete an educational program, according to the commission. Arbulu will not be allowed to conduct training sessions while taking the program.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she has “serious concerns” about the commission’s decision to only reprimand Arbulu. She submitted a letter to the commission on August 2.
“The findings in this report about the director’s actions runs headlong against the very mission of the department,” Whitmer wrote. “I also have serious concerns about the director’s ability to lead the department moving forward and the department’s ability to carry out its mission and serve the people of Michigan.”
Arbulu released a statement through the commission.
“Recently I made comments objectifying women – comments that were unacceptable and regrettable,” Arbulu said. “I take full responsibility. I am deeply sorry and will not allow it to happen again. While I cannot change the past, I intend to use this experience as a learning opportunity, to help me become a better person and a better leader.”
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]