Voters Deserve Answers from Ryan Friedrichs – Secretary of State Benson’s Husband – about Exploding Detroit Cover-up Scandal

LANSING, MI, July 12, 2019 – The Michigan Freedom Fund today demanded answers from Ryan Friedrichs, the Chief Development Officer for the City of Detroit, and husband of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, about his office’s role in an exploding Detroit city government cover-up scandal first reported in the Detroit Free Press.  The group also called on Attorney General Dana Nessel to vigorously pursue justice in the case, no matter who in the Detroit government is implicated.

According to a whistleblower quoted in today’s Free Press, leadership of the Office of Development and Grantsasked staff members to delete emails in an attempt by the Mayor’s office to hide facts regarding the (city’s) true efforts regarding fundraising for this organization.” 

The organization the whistleblower referenced was Make Your Date, a group for which the Mayor of Detroit and his city staff allegedly fundraised, generating public criticism in part because of the Mayor’s alleged connection to the group’s director, Dr. Sonia Hassan.

Friedrichs was appointed Chief Development Officer for the City in 2015, and leads the department under fire from the whistleblower.  According to today’s reporting, the day after the Detroit Free Press submitted a FOIA request for city staff emails about Make Your Date, Friedrichs “called a meeting… to discuss the prior directive to delete the messages.”  At the meeting, Friedrichs “apologized,” according to the whistleblower.

“Ryan Friedrichs owes voters and taxpayers immediate answers about who in his Department ordered the cover-up of the Make Your Date scandal, and at whose direction,” said Tony Daunt, Executive Director of the Michigan Freedom Fund.  “Voters deserve to know which leader or leaders of Friedrichs’ department instructed his or her staff to delete emails and hide records from the public and the press.”

Daunt demanded Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel pursue the truth and justice in her office’s investigation of the cover-up, in spite of any potential connections to Benson’s husband or his office.

“Voters deserve the truth, not cover-ups, both from the City of Detroit and the Department of the Attorney General,” said Daunt.