No charges in demolition of lawmaker's Detroit house

Detroit — The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Friday it will not file a warrant against the owner of a demolition company that mistakenly tore down a state lawmaker's house.

"The suspect readily admits that he 'jumped the gun' and demolished the house without final confirmation that his bid was accepted," the office said in a statement. "Nothing suggests anything other than negligence on the suspect’s part. For these reasons the warrant is being denied."

A house at 4567 Minock in Detroit belonging to State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo was demolished and removed without her knowing.  "It's just a mystery. The house disappeared," she said.

Authorities said the owner of Detroit-based Gipson Brothers Trucking tore down the house at 14567 Minock St. in July 2019.

State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo's nonprofit group, Coalition to Integrate Technology and Education, bought the house from the Detroit Land Bank Authority in 2018. The Detroit Democrat said in October she planned to renovate the home and give it to a needy family.

In September, Gay-Dagnogo told the media she was informed by a third party that the house was demolished. Police began an investigation. It was later learned debris from the demolition was taken to a Waste Management landfill in Wayne.

On Friday, Gay-Dagnogo said she was "gravely disappointed" with the outcome of the investigation conducted by a special unit within the Detroit Police Department.

"There is so much more than meets the eye in this investigation. It reeks of a cover-up, and complicit omission, or ignorance," Gay-Dagnogo said in a text message to The News. "To have waited five months to be told it was simply a mistake when a licensed vendor of the city of Detroit plowed past the permits process, lack of permission or payment sounds like an absolute fairytale. No one in their right mind should believe it. Our board doesn’t."

Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo

Gay-Dagnogo said she's filed a civil lawsuit that she hopes will "bring more truth to the surface."

The lawmaker also has been a vocal critic of Detroit's demolition program, opposing Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's recently defeated plan to put a $250 million bond proposal before voters and urging council members to weigh whether more taxpayer money should be allocated for it.

Last month, Gay-Dagnogo, who represents Michigan's 8th District on the city's northwest side, announced she was exploring a bid for Detroit mayor.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez