LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Lansing City Council member Jeffery Brown is at the center of an ethics investigation alleging he overstepped a project funding process and indirectly solicited for his support on council votes.
The findings of the report, which were first reported by City Pulse, indicate there have been cases where Brown seemingly suggested that some of his votes would be based on whether he got “reciprocal support” on issues that were important to him.
The original complaint said Brown indicated in separate talks with the developer of the Ovation Concert Hall and the executive director of the Lansing Housing Commission that he would support their requests if they paid rent and fees for some of his constituents.
While the final report says it cannot prove those specific claims, it found Brown has made comments that could be viewed as “indirect solicitation for things of value.”
The report also substantiates a claim that Brown reached out to U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin to request funding for two projects that were not part of the Mayor’s budget or voted on by the Council.
The report says that several council members and Mayor Andy Schor told the attorney that the Mayor was responsible for funding requests. Brown says he was not aware of the process.
“He was under the belief that he was permitted to submit proposals directly to Congresswoman Slotkin’s office on his own … Acknowledged that Council acts through its resolutions,” according to the report prepared by attorney Gouri Sashital.
The city’s report found Brown in violation of falsely representing this personal opinion as an official position and acting on behalf of the City Council for policy statements when they do not have that authority.
6 News has reached out to Brown’s lawyers but was told Dr. Brown was out of the country in the Philippines. They did, however, call the accusations “baseless.”
Brown’s attornies did file a request to dismiss the complaints, which can be found below.
The full ethics board packet can be found here.