Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson retires as Lansing’s Director of Human Relations and Community Services

Michigan

(UPDATE 5:15 p.m.)– With several questions still unanswered, the city of Lansing will begin a search for a new director.

Lansing mayor Andy Schor released a brief statement on Saturday saying in part, “Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson has worked with the homeless and neediest of Lansing for the last 15 years…And I thank her for her service.”

Schor says he believes the remaining city employees can get the job done.

“We’re very confident in the staff in that department,” he says. “They do a lot of work, working with a variety of agencies. You know, we fund between 80-100 agencies throughout the city. We do a lot of work with partners to make sure that services are available for those in need.”

Some of that same work, and Johnson’s ties to the local nonprofit organizations involved, sparked an audit that now sits with Michigan’s Attorney General. They have not yet decided if the audit, which found several conflicts of interest involving Johnson and mismanaged funds, will lead to a full investigation.

Lansing’s former HRCS director Willard Walker is serving as the interim director while the city finds a more permanent replacement.

“We’ve got time because we’ve got a great replacement that’s running the show, in Willard Walker,” Schor said. “We have tremendous faith in that department. You know, directors are important but the staff does tremendous work and we’re fully confident that we’re going to provide the services that are needed through our Human Relations and Community Services department.”

Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– According to the City of Lansing, Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson submitted a letter to Mayor Schor that she has retired from her position as the Director of Human Relations and Community Services (HRCS), effective immediately.

Dr. Jackson Johnson worked for the City of Lansing for the last 15 years helping the homeless and needy throughout the Lansing community.

In January, the HRCS Director was placed on paid administrative leave amid an investigation that showed a pattern of city funds being mismanaged and conflicts of interest not being disclosed.

“I have complete confidence in the staff at HRCS to continue to provide the important and necessary services to those in need in the City of Lansing,” Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said in a statement.

6 News Reporter Ashley Graham spoke to Mayor Schor Saturday morning and will have more details on the announcement on 6 News at 6.

Former HRCS Director Willard Walker will serve as Acting Director for the HRCS Department until a new director is announced.

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