Judge Dismisses Reverse Discrimination Lawsuits Against MSP
January 3, 2022
By Jon King / firstname.lastname@example.org
Two lawsuits, including one filed by a Livingston County resident, were dismissed last week that alleged racial and gender discrimination by the Michigan State Police.
One of the lawsuits was brought by former MSP Lt. Michael McCormick of Howell, who claims he was passed up in 2019 for the position of Post Commander because of racial discrimination and in retaliation for complaints he made in 2018 for being passed up for another position.
In his ruling, however, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jonker for the Western District of Michigan noted that "McCormick withdrew his application for Post Commander before it could be considered” and that “Moreover, McCormick admits he had an angry attitude and that this attitude affected his professional relationships, which is exactly the reasons superiors gave for concern about promoting him."
The other lawsuit was filed by former Inspector R. Michael Hahn and former Captain Michael Caldwell, who alleged they were retaliated against when they tried to bring attention to MSP's diversity policies they claim unlawfully benefit "racial and gender minorities over white males." Judge Jonker , in that ruling, said they had failed to demonstrate either discrimination or retaliation and that while they “plainly disagree as a policy matter with the priorities of the Michigan State Police...at bottom, this is all they have shown.”
Hahn and Caldwell are represented by Pinckney attorney Jim Fett who told WHMI he plans to appeal to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as pursue cases in state court. In fact, a lawsuit filed by Caldwell in Livingston County Circuit Court alleges that his demotion and subsequent “False…Criminal Charges” were violations of Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act and the Michigan Constitution. “Championing the rights of white males has always been difficult,” said Fett. “The history of my litigation against the MSP has shown this. We will win out. The tide is changing.”
However, MSP Director Col. Joe Gasper, who was a defendant in the lawsuits, said the dismissals affirm what they have said from the beginning, that the claims are false. "There never was, or will be, employment, promotion, retention, or any other personnel practice decisions made motivated by bias or based on discrimination,” said Gasper. “We are pleased with this conclusion and remain committed to supporting a work environment with equal opportunity for all of our members."