EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – An investigation has been launched into a complaint that alleges East Lansing city officials are interfering with the city’s day-to-day operations.

Mayor Ron Bacon is not having it, calling it a personal attack with racial undertones.

Tuesday’s city council vote gave the city attorney, the green light to meet with former Oakland County prosecutor, J Randall Secontine, to start a third-party review of the allegations in this six-page complaint.

Mayor Ron Bacon addressed the complaint and said while he welcomes critics, he will not stand for personal attacks.

“What are simply veiled personal attacks based on race, demographics or anything like that will not be tolerated, not trying to lump people into some type of coalition or cabal based on race, gender or anything else is not going to be happening here,” said Bacon.

The letter claims several city leaders including the mayor and the DEI Director, Elaine Hardy, have been working outside of the policies in the city charter by interfering with day-to-day operations.

The letter cited former Deputy Police Chief Chad Connelly, stating “unethical leadership” as one of his reasons for resigning back in March.

The complaint further criticizes the termination of city manager George Lahanas earlier this year and city attorney Tom Yeadon back in 2020.

Mayor Ron Bacon said the letter has racist undertones regarding who was named and he’s considering getting the state civil rights department involved, but Bacon said his focus right now is finding a new city manager and keeping East Lansing running

“We are still going to move forward from my position on coordination and commitments in the city and you’ll see me far more vocal because I think I created a vacuum to allow for some of these things,” said Bacon.

The letter also blasted the choice of Randy Talifarro as the interim city manager. It said employees are worried experienced leaders are being replaced with “fresh staff who will be paid more to be less productive, but who are likely to be more pliable to the will of select council members.”

Talifarro denounced the complaint and said it looks racially motivated.

“I think that it is not lost on me that the individuals who are targeted and what they look like. I will say that explicitly. It is not lost on me,” he said.

The council also approved a joint response to the complaint where the investigation is outlined. City leaders said they want a quick review and will check in on the status of any report 90 days after the review begins.