Lansing Firefighter Files Second Race Discrimination Lawsuit

A Lansing firefighter who sued the city last year alleging race discrimination, has filed a separate lawsuit against the mayor, the former interim fire chief, and the former firefighter’s union president. Michael Lynn Jr. filed suit last week in Ingham County Circuit Court naming Mayor Andy Schor, former Interim Chief David Purchase, and former fire union President Eric Weber.

Lynn’s earlier suit was filed in federal and accused the city of race discrimination. Among the incidents contributing to the first suit, was an incident where someone left a banana on the windshield of his assigned truck.

The second suit alleges ongoing discrimination and retaliation in violation of Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and a violation of Lynn’s right to free speech. Lynn was reportedly disciplined for sharing a Facebook post critical of Mayor Schor’s approach to racial diversity.

According to the Lansing State Journal, Lynn’s attorney, Scott Batey, says that information obtained through discovery in the federal court case played a role in the second suit. A copy of the second suit was not available from Lexis or the Ingham County Circuit Court. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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