Lansing redacts McIntyre documents

Posted at 7:43 AM, Jun 08, 2016

A stack of 105 pages of emails from December 1, 2015 to February 23, 2016.

Messages between the City of Lansing, two outside attorneys and the lawyer for former City Attorney Janene McIntyre, but all we can see is who sent each email, who received it, the dates and the subject lines.

Everything else is blacked out.

"We don't know what was said between the client and the lawyer, but the law says we're not entitled to it," said James Robb, Associate Dean of External Affairs for Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

The City claims some of the information is personal and the rest falls under attorney-client privilege. But, a judge could rule differently.

Robb explained, "The judge has the power to review it in person, have the actual documents to determine whether in fact that privilege should be applied."

To conversations about how and why $160,000 taxpayer dollars were used to pay off McIntyre.

"Obviously there's something that adminitration does not want to be forthwith on. And so, that is also of great interest to us, that if there was some impending litigation, that means that there was behavior that was not in compliance," said Lansing City Council President Judi Brown Clarke.

She and the Council still don't know why McIntyre resigned in March.

"We should be on the other side of this months ago, you know, had we had some communication and cooperation," she said. "But, here we are still asking those questions and it's, it's not an effective use of our time and energy."

But, she's not going to stop searching for answers.

"If you don't take the time to really unpack your challenges and things where there's ways of addressing it, how can you address to ensure it doesn't happen again if you don't know what happened?" she said.

Brown Clark told FOX 47 News she's hoping to hire an outside investigator, but that would take five votes and several Council Members want to drop the issue.

Mayor Virg Bernero gave FOX 47 News a statement saying the redactions are justified and that the separation agreement saved the taxpayers money.

We are having lawyers review the redacted documents and the City's response to see if there are further actions we can take.

We'll keep investigating the story and we'll let you know as soon as we have more information.