Bing Closing Graft-Filled Detroit Department of Human Services

Steve Neavling, Detroit Free Press, March 14, 2012

In a move designed to improve services for struggling Detroiters, Mayor Dave Bing is forfeiting more than $72 million in federal money intended to help poor people because a city department showed it can’t handle the funds effectively, his administration said Tuesday.

Bing is shutting down the Department of Human Services on the advice of state and federal officials who became alarmed after investigating it, following a series of Free Press stories that chronicled corruption and mismanagement.

Council members threatened to challenge the department’s closing at a meeting Tuesday. They said new management is cleaning up wrongdoing and is prepared to continue overseeing poverty-fighting programs, including the early childhood education program Head Start.


“The state of Michigan is illegally withholding money for poor people,” Councilwoman JoAnn Watson said.

Of the department’s $72 million in annual grant funding, the city is losing $55 million for Head Start, which has been rife with mismanagement and abuse.

During the past year, the Free Press revealed that department officials took money intended for poor people and bought a car and high-end appliances; they were forced to return tens of millions of dollars for various community and home-improvement programs because the money was mismanaged, and employees received excessive salaries.


Because the state may bid out the work, it’s unclear what agency or agencies will take over the department’s programs. But council members expressed concern that for a short time, at least, some of the money will be handled by Wayne Metro Community Action Agency in Wyandotte—a city with little in common with Detroit.


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  • Using this line of logic, we should close down Detroit.  It’s kinda redundant and silly to worry about graft, waste and corruption within one city agency in Detroit, when the whole city is like that.

    • Alexandra1973

      Put a huge wall along Eight Mile Road.

      • Are you saying we should turn Detroit into a prison?

        It’s just as well, most of the city’s men will go to prison anyway during some point in their lives.

  • ANC-style rule has come to Detroit.

  • So funny that they have been given millions for Head Start. Its worthless,even when administered by caring and competent WHITE people. In the hands of vulpine blacks,God help the taxpayer.

  • Diversity in action.

  • MartelC

    for the government to declare it corrupt.. now that’s saying something! 

  • The_Bobster

    Let’s look at another case of minority corruption, this time in NYC:

    The Espadas are charged with stealing more than $500,000 from the non-profit clinic for personal expenses including meals and vacations.

    While they were living large on six-figure salaries, the clinic struggled with financial problems over the past decade, said Cruz, who worked at Soundview for 30 years until leaving last summer.

    She said the doctors used antiquated medical and dental sterilization equipment, had a single EKG machine that malfunctioned and failed to pay a dental lab, leading to the late delivery of patients’ false teeth. “Every other month I had to negotiate the release of dentures in exchange for a check,” she said.