Should The Michigan Civil Rights Director Be Fired For His Comments?
I found something that myself and Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer might agree upon. That is her question asking why the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Executive Director Agustin Arbulu was not fired by the Commission.
Documents obtained and revealed by the Detroit News has shed some light on comments the Director stated to another state employee concerning women, one being his daughter.
Last May there was a Department of Civil Rights listening session at Pierce Middle School in Grosse Pointe Park. According to a memo summarizing a discriminatory harassment investigation against Director Arbulu, he was standing outside the event with Communications analyst Todd Heywood looking at woman and saying:
would you look at that woman…check out her ass
The memo went further to state that Director Arbulu made a comment to Mr. Heywood that he may not understand his comments because he didn’t “like women.”
Joanne Bridgford, equal employment opportunity administrator for the Michigan Department of Corrections, investigated the allegations and in an interview with Director Arbulu stated that he denied remembering the specific comments in question.
He told Ms. Bridgford that he was waiting outside the school to look for his adult daughter, a daughter he said he had a “love/hate” relationship with and had not seen for many years. According to the Director the daughter lives by the school and texted him that she may stop by to see him.
In a memo from Ms. Bridgfored she wrote:
Director Arbulu said he was excited about the possibility of seeing his daughter and then disappointed when she didn’t show up and he may have made the situation worse by making ‘macho type comments’
He also told the investigator that his daughter “looked hot”. Why would you tell someone who is investigating you about comments you made about other women that your daughter “looked hot”?
According to Ms. Bridgford the Director had repeatedly denied remembering, not making but remembering specific comments but:
did indicate that he would make sexual comments about his daughter
Ms. Bridgford’s memo went on to say:
Director Arbulu did indicate to this investigator that his daughter did show up to the June 4th Listening Session at Grosse Pointe schools and that ‘she looked hot!’
I note that this commissions current members were appointed by former Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who hired Mr. Arbulu as Director in October 2015. Governor Whitmer does not have the power to fire Director Arbulu but has requested an explanation from the civil rights commissioners why they did not.
Was Director Arbulu making “macho type comments” something he should be fired for, well in this day and age many would say yes? What about his comment that his daughter looked hot, a bit creepy especially knowing that according to him as a “love/hate” relationship with her.
It really comes down to the fact that he is the Director of the Civil Rights Commission and how can you have a commissioner, let alone the Director of that Commission making statements like that about women, men (Mr. Heywood) and his daughter.
You cannot and because of that he should have been allowed to resign and if he refused to resign and what the Detroit News has published is correct he should be fired.
See, Governor Whitmer and I can agree on things from time to time. More of us should learn to judge what someone is advocating on the merits of the issue and not the political group or ideology they are in.