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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There has to be more to this story than one sentence. Where are the details?

State probe finds racism in Natural Resources Dept. division

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070513/NEWS06/70513015/1008

May 13, 2007 ASSOCIATED PRESS

LANSING — A state investigation of a black conservation agent’s complaints found evidence of racism and a culture of oppression and fear in the Department of Natural Resources agency’s law enforcement division.
 

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I was in the Wildlife Biology program for a brief time at LSSU- most students in the program aspire to work in the DNR. I don't know if I remember seeing one black student in the program.
 

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Its like hockey, sking,snowmobiling, ice fishing and anything else to do with the outdoors. Just are'nt many bruthas that like the outdoor experience.
 

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Here is the rest :
Investigation: Racism, Culture of Oppression in Michigan DNR
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A state investigation of a black conservation agent's complaints found evidence of racism and a culture of oppression and fear in the Department of Natural Resources agency's law enforcement division.

The two-month investigation looked into the treatment of the only black female conservation officer among 10 blacks in the DNR's Law Enforcement Division. The probe concluded that Lt. Linda Copeland-Morgan endured intimidation, exclusion and threatening behavior on the job, including racially offensive references made in her presence or about her.

The Detroit resident is a 27-year veteran of the department, as well as its highest-ranking black conservation officer. She was among four employees who sued the DNR in 1991 claiming racial and sexual discrimination and accepted a $240,000 settlement.

The latest investigation started when Copeland-Morgan wrote Gov. Jennifer Granholm about her treatment.

"I'm trying to make sure that nobody else has to endure what I've endured," Copeland-Morgan told the Lansing State Journal for a story Sunday.

Her September letter to Granholm said she experienced harassment and sabotage while working for the DNR. Granholm replied and expressed regret that Copeland-Morgan had "experienced racial discrimination."

Granholm wrote that she had instructed her staff to take Copeland-Morgan's complaints to DNR Director Rebecca Humphries.

State investigator Cheryl Strayhorn ended her probe Nov. 30. She wrote that there was a "pervasive perception ... of exclusion, avoidance, intimidation and fear" that "serves to ... restrict Lt. Morgan and supervisors, managers and employees from reaching their potential."

Strayhorn specifically accused three DNR managers, who she named. She concluded that one superior acted in a "threatening and intimidating manner" toward Copeland-Morgan.

Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd and DNR spokeswoman Mary Dettloff declined comment on details of the report, saying it remained under review.

---

Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com


©2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Report: DNR officer was subjected to sexual, racial slurs

http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070513/NEWS04/705130683/1005 /ARCHIVES

05/13/07 5-1/2 months after probe, state still reviewing findings

John Schneider Lansing State Journal 517-377-1175 or [email protected]

The only black female conservation officer in the state Department of Natural Resources' Law Enforcement Division has endured intimidation, exclusion and threatening behavior on the job, according to the results of a state investigation.

A two-month-long probe that began with a letter to Gov. Jennifer Granholm and ended Nov. 30 confirmed specific instances of racial and sexual slurs aimed at Lt. Linda Copeland-Morgan of Detroit, a 27-year veteran of the department and the highest ranking black CO.

The report also describes an "oppressive culture" of intolerance, bullying and fear in the division.

Although the report examined specific incidents that occurred in the past couple of years, Copeland-Morgan said she has encountered discrimination throughout her career.

DNR's resource management deputy director, Mindy Koch, said she considered the perception of intimidation and fear of retribution described in the report to be a "huge problem" in the division.

However, Copeland-Morgan said the report's recommendations largely were ignored by DNR officials. Koch said so far, they have resulted in "minor organizational changes."

When asked if the perception and fear were justified, Koch said, "That's harder for me to say."

61-page report

In her 61-page report, Cheryl Strayhorn, who examines civil rights complaints for the state, wrote of a "pervasive perception ... of exclusion, avoidance, intimidation and fear ... (that) serves to ... restrict Lt. Morgan and (other) supervisors, managers and employees from reaching their potential."

Contacted individually, the three men named as the "accused" in the report declined comment. They are:

• Capt. Curtis Bacon, who was the North Zone law supervisor when he retired in February after 34 years with the department.

Strayhorn concluded that Bacon behaved in a "threatening and intimidating manner" toward Copeland-Morgan and that he used racially charged phrases in her presence.

At a Sept. 21, 2005 meeting, for example, Bacon, in response to Copeland-Morgan's question, moved toward her in an aggressive way while pointing his finger at her and ordering her to "shut up." And at an Aug. 31 dinner, Bacon, Strayhorn found, made conspicuous references to "Uncle Ben's Rice" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in Copeland-Morgan's presence.

Also, Strayhorn concluded that Bacon said of Copeland-Morgan: "(expletive) that black bitch."

DNR spokeswoman Mary Dettloff said Bacon's retirement was "in no way" related to Strayhorn's investigation.

• Alan Marble, chief of the Law Enforcement Division, has been with the department for 28 years.

• Gerald Harris, chief of the department's Human Resources Division, joined the DNR in 2000 after a 30-year career with Family Independence Agency (now the Department of Human Services).

Both men were accused of contributing to a "hostile, offensive and intimidating" environment by failing to do anything to prevent it.

'Arguably illegal'

In her conclusions, Strayhorn names Marble in what she calls "the most egregious conduct" she uncovered. While weighing Copeland-Morgan's suitability for a seat on the management team, Marble and Bacon discussed Copeland-Morgan's involvement, 15 years earlier, in a discrimination lawsuit against the DNR - and possibly held it against her.

Strayhorn described that as "inappropriate ... and arguably illegal." Copeland-Morgan was on and off the team over the past three years.

Dettloff said DNR officials couldn't discuss the details of Strayhorn's report because, after more than five months, it was still "under review."

Koch, DNR's resource management deputy director, explained the pace of the review by saying she was investigating "cross accusations" alleging that witnesses gave the investigator false information.

But two black former employees of the division supported Copeland-Morgan's description of a general disdain for minorities.

"It was definitely a good-old-boys club," said Larry Sargent of Detroit, who retired in December 2005 after 26 years with the DNR.

'We were not wanted'

Sondra Gardner, also of Detroit, retired last year. "We were not wanted," she said. "It was a lily-white division before we came. They thought that because we were born in the city, we could never learn to identify wildlife and that kind of thing."

Among the report's recommendations was for the division to initiate a "cultural shift from the command-and-control philosophy to more inclusiveness."

Asked if anybody in the governor's office had followed up on the report, Liz Boyd, the governor's spokeswoman said, "Until the review process is complete, we have no further comment."

Boyd also declined to address the question of whether the report is considered to be reliable.

The governor, Boyd added, has not recently been "briefed" on the issue.

Copeland-Morgan has been on medical leave since Feb. 5 - a result, she said, of stress brought on by further intimidation after Strayhorn began her investigation.

Copeland-Morgan said she came to the State Journal with her story because her superiors seemed unwilling to take her complaints seriously.

"I'm trying to make sure that nobody else has to endure what I've endured," she said.

She wrote Granholm in September describing a world of constant "harassment" and "sabotage." The governor wrote back expressing regret that Copeland-Morgan had "experienced racial discrimination."

The governor also wrote that she had instructed her staff to take Copeland-Morgan's complaints to DNR Director Rebecca Humphries.

DNR spokeswoman Dettloff declined to discuss Strayhorn's report, but e-mailed the following statement: "We continue to acknowledge the potential factual basis for any information provided to us as we move forward to ensure an open, viable administrative process that supports our overall mission."

Deputy Director Koch followed up, adding that the DNR would have investigated the complaints without the governor's involvement, and that the department decided to use an outside investigator, rather than somebody inside the department, because two division chiefs were among the accused.

7 recommendations

At the end of her report, Strayhorn, who refused to discuss the investigation for this story, issued seven recommendations, including:

• "Prevent retaliation against officers who complained, acted as witnesses, or participated in the investigation."

• "Remove Capt. Bacon and Chief Marble from any tangible employment actions that would affect Lt. Copeland-Morgan."

• Impose "sanctions against conduct that tends to intimidate, threaten, or silence officers into submission."
 

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I am by no means trying to defend racism at any level. What I think is interesting though is if you are a white male you would have had to score 20-30 percent higher on your civil service exam than this black female to even be considered for the job of CO. How is that fair. Where is the racism there? I thought it was supposed to be the best and the brightest. I am all for diversity but only if the rules are applied equally. Just my .02 cents Hopefully they will do a few more investigations and waste some more taxpayer money in an already broke state. :dizzy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DNR director will not step down
Department of Natural Resources chief Rebecca Humphries said today she won't step down, despite calls for her resignation by two Detroit civil rights leaders.

"If anything, the whole episode makes me more determined to work to resolve residual issues," Humphries said, in her first public statement since a state investigation uncovered racial and sexual discrimination inside the state Department of Natural Resource's Law Enforcement Division.

http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070522/NEWS01/705220367/1001/news
 

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I won't say much here but I do know some info about this and I believe that indecisiveness by law division is as much at fault at this as anyone else. One additional person should retire! I believe and in some instance I know that Lt. Linda Copeland-Morgan was not given the support she should have from a person who should have provided that support. The good old boy thing doesn't include any current Captains or acting capatians either, they had nothing to do with it, again, my opinion. Cheif Richard Asher would have never let this whole thing go where it went, it would have been dealt with properly.
 

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We have some excellent CO's that are black, female, native american etc., etc. Lt Copeland Morgan is also a very good District Supervisor but a Lt has to have support, at least answers to questions asked of her superiors too. I wouldn't say she is perfect just as I am not perfect but she tries very hard and does get the job done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Humphries: DNR is not going to tolerate bias in workplace

As the first female director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, with a 29-year career in the DNR, I do not - and will not ever - tolerate discrimination of any kind in this agency. In fact, under my administration, there are more women working in leadership roles than ever in the history of the department.

When I received the letter of complaint of discrimination by an employee in the Law Enforcement Division, I ordered an investigation by an outside party - a retired Michigan State Police officer and equal employment opportunity officer with another state agency. Once we received her report in mid-December, I directed a member of my executive team to conduct a further investigation. Follow-up questions regarding the initial investigation were addressed in early February.

http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070527/OPINION02/705270317/1085/ARCHIVES
 

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everlast1 said:
Ever wonder why the MDNR ( the whole [email protected]#*#[email protected] state for that matter ) is such a mess ? And now you know the rest of the story
Gee, I still don't understand the rest of the story there everlast, why don't you explain it to us all along with explaining about walking on beach and ruling by the Supreme Court.:gaga: :evilsmile
 

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Hamilton Reef said:
DNR spokeswoman Dettloff declined to discuss Strayhorn's report, but e-mailed the following statement: "We continue to acknowledge the potential factual basis for any information provided to us as we move forward to ensure an open, viable administrative process that supports our overall mission."

Out of the whole article,,, I love this paragraph the best:lol: . And this line, ",, potential factual basis,,,"


And about the "shut up" line,,,,,,, Who hasn't had their boss yell at them or tell them to shut up??


Am I the only one with the feeling that the $240 G's ran out??:tdo12:
 

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I seen that lady on the news about a month ago.Why she said she wanted everyone to know whats going on here in Michigan DNR is beone me.She got her cash as it seems most of them want.For her to keep carrying on about it is nothing but starting more crap.Sounds to me like she asking for it now.No way she going to get RESPECT from anyone by yapping about her suite.She sounds to me like trouble.I like to know where she came from ? I know alot of Officers up north and i heard stories about how they come up north from the city and act like they seen it all.So they run around trying to bust everyones balls up there.I know they never stay long.I really think the lady wants to just bring more to the table and try to get something more.I bet she will mess up soon.Then she can join the unemployment line.Mich
 

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http://www.freep.com/article/20081010/NEWS06/81010056



ASSOCIATED PRESS • October 10, 2008


A black Michigan conservation officer says he's been a victim of discrimination since helping another black officer in her harassment complaint against the state.



Sgt. Arthur Green III filed a federal lawsuit today against the state Department of Natural Resources.
Green, who lives in Oakland County, claims race was an issue when he was passed over for a lieutenant's slot in southeastern Michigan this year.

Green says he also was denied approval to assume the duties of Lt. Linda Copeland-Morgan when she went on leave in 2007. Copeland-Morgan is a black officer who says she was harassed because of her race.

A state investigation confirmed many of her allegations. Green's lawsuit seeks financial remedies. The DNR declined to comment.
 

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Her bank is empty. I mean money makes it all better dont it? She ll stay on and sue and in another 10 yrs get full retirement and another settlement. Myself i dont think i woud continue to work in that enviroment after sueing. Shes just asking for more crap now or maybe the opposite knowone will even talk to her out of fear. Man i just dont understand all the race b.s. I work with people who go to black theologian churches as Obama did. EVERYTHING has to do with race. All i can do is shake my head.
 
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