Michigan senator seeks changes to Child Protective Services privacy laws after kids' deaths

Man behind Duggan videos vows more revelations

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
In this frame from secretly recorded video, Mayor Mike Duggan is shown leaving a meeting at Messiah Baptist Church in Detroit on June 11.  It is one of the few frames that clearly identify the mayor.

A Detroit businessman behind controversial video recordings of Mayor Mike Duggan said Friday he plans to hold a news conference next week about the mayor. 

"It'll be on something else that is a little bit bigger than what just happened," said Robert Carmack, who owns an automotive collision repair shop on Michigan Avenue. "It'll be a big surprise. Let's just say it's part of all of this."

Carmack made the remarks Friday on "The Nolan Finley Show" on 910 AM Superstation. The show airs from 7-9 a.m. weekdays on the radio station. Finley is also editorial page editor of The Detroit News. 

A message to the mayor's office seeking comment Friday was not immediately returned. 

Carmack, who is locked in a legal battle with the city, hired a private investigator to trail and secretly record Duggan for months over the summer. He then paid to broadcast the video recordings outside of city hall on a billboard truck.

The video shows Duggan, without his personal protection unit after work hours, driving to a home in Wixom, where he spent between a few minutes to a few hours on numerous occasions over the summer. A woman seen on the video is present at the home at least two different times.

The recordings were distributed to The Detroit News and other news organizations and prompted the mayor and his wife, Lori Maher, to defend their marriage in a statement Thursday.

ReadSecretly recorded video prompts Duggan, wife to defend marriage

"A litigant, angry to be losing a case to the Detroit Law Department, apparently decided to retaliate by hiring private investigators to follow the mayor without his knowledge for several months. And in the end, their surveillance failed to uncover a single misdeed in the management of the city," the statement said. 

"If that terrible invasion of privacy weren’t enough, it got worse," the statement continues. "This same angry litigant then took individual videos of cars driving, spliced them together, and added assumptions and insinuations, all so he could create a negative judgment on the state of our marriage."

Carmack is also the central figure in a federal bribery case against Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland.

The city sued Carmack in June on claims he fraudulently sold 10 acres of industrial property he didn't own near the Detroit River in southwest Detroit and flipped the land for a $750,000 profit. The businessman also filed his own suit this spring against Leland, claiming the councilman attempted to extort him.

Read: Star witness in Leland bribery case 'a thief,' city says

On Friday, he told Finley he made the videos because he wanted to know what the mayor was doing.

"I FOIA’ed the file on his (city) car being wrecked," Carmack said. "Well, the situation is, I wanted to see if he made a police report and followed the proper guidelines that the city has to do."

He said he didn’t get any information from his request.

"What I also wanted to do was to see what was going on with him," Carmack said in the radio interview. "There were rumors that he didn’t live in the city, that he lived outside the city." 

Carmack wouldn't say if the videos confirm Duggan lives outside of the city.

"I don’t want to say that at this period of time," he said. "That will come out later on." 


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez