A few weeks ago it was reported
that Kevin Simowski, the head of the Detroit Land Bank, had been fired.
The news came a few days after Charlie LeDuff's deep-dive into questionable math
surrounding demolitions in the city.
While Mayor Mike Duggan addressed the termination and said it had nothing to do with LeDuff's accusations of dysfunction at the Land Bank, media outlets (even ourselves
Well it turns out the story is way
crazier than we ever could have predicted. While it's still up for debate whether the Land Bank is dysfunctional in a "these numbers don't add up" sort of way, there isn't much question that for at least six months the Land Bank has been dysfunctional in a "I hate coming to work because my boss is stalking me" kind of way.
According to Motor City Muckraker
, Simowski was let go for showing up to work intoxicated and threatening his employees. Yikes!
Let's let Motor City Muckraker explain:
"Carrie Lewand-Monroe, who was then the principal director of the Land Bank, filed a personal protection against her boss on Oct. 8, the same day he [Simowski] was fired as the director.
"He told me on one instance he owned a weapon and would kill himself because i stopped being his friend and would not have lunch with him," Lewand, 38, wrote in the PPO. "Based on his actions, I am fearful and feel threatened."
"Since April of 2015, Kevin has constantly harassed and displayed aggressive behavior. After six months, he showed up at my home uninvited," Lewand-Monroe wrote in the PPO.
The uninvited visit, according to Motor City Muckraker, occurred on Oct. 7, after Simowski, who allegedly showed up at the office drunk and belligerent repeatedly, was placed on "medical leave" in September and told not to show up on the Land Bank premises.
We definitely did not see this story coming. Check out Motor City Muckraker
's piece for a more detailed account of the PPO and the track record of Simowski, a close ally of Duggan's.
The Detroit Land Bank — which is in charge of foreclosed properties that don't sell at the Wayne County Tax Auction — has demolished 7,000 buildings during Duggan's time in office. Regardless of LeDuff's allegations of funny math, this story definitely indicates it was probably a tough place to work, at least for Lewand-Monroe, for the last few months.