Ex-WSU prof.: Most allegations were false

The Detroit News
Jack Lessenberry

Former Wayne State University journalism director Jack Lessenberry took to Facebook Saturday to respond to the university's independent investigation saying he would have been fired for misconduct. 

Lessenberry, who resigned his WSU position in June, declined an invitation to participate in the probe looking into his pattern of behavior with multiple students.

The investigation launched at WSU following a Deadline Detroit story this spring that accused Lessenberry of a “long history of questionable behavior with women. Attorney Tara Mahoney wrote in an analysis of her findings Thursday saying had he not resigned, she would have recommended he be terminated for "very troubling conduct." 

The professor apologized on Facebook Saturday also claiming most of the allegations published in Deadline Detroit and from former students were untrue. 

Jack Lessenberry responds on Facebook Saturday about WSU's investigation report.

"As many of you know, I was accused, initially on a tabloid website, of inappropriate behavior at Wayne State University, and soon came to feel that I could no longer be effective there and decided to resign," he wrote. 

"I am sincerely sorry if I offended anyone; I never meant to, and many — most — of the allegations were completely false." 

Lessenberry went on to say he helped many people launch their careers in journalism and communications and "will always be happy about that."

"My reputation has been shredded, and that has plainly made some people gleeful, but I do not intend to wallow in this," he said."Instead, I intend to do the best I can to continue to do good and useful work in other arenas, and to get on with my life."

The former professor, who joined WSU in 1993, was the head of the journalism department at WSU, supervising internships and teaching news media management and history and law of American journalism classes.

Since news of the allegations emerged in May, Lessenberry has left his columnist spot at Metro Times and quit as a political analyst for Michigan Radio.

He later gained a morning show on 910 AM. His boss told The News this week he did not plan to remove Lessenberry from the two-hour slot.