Longtime Michigan journalist Jack Lessenberry has resigned from the Metro Times.
This comes after a Deadline Detroit story that accused Lessenberry of having inappropriate interactions with female colleagues. He was a columnist for the Metro Times, though he did not work in the office.
The Deadline Detroit story cited allegations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior over the course of almost 30 years. One accusation includes inappropriate physical contact; others cite inappropriate remarks.
Lessenberry is also a professor at Wayne State University. He says he asked the school to conduct an investigation into charges he says are without merit. He has voluntarily stepped away from his duties at WSU while the investigation takes place.
Lessenberry is a senior news analyst at Michigan Radio. The University of Michigan, which owns the license for Michigan Radio, released this statement:
We are aware of media reports that make allegations against Jack Lessenberry in his role as a journalism instructor at Wayne State University.
Michigan Radio and the University of Michigan are committed to a workplace free of harassing behavior. We take all reports of sexual misconduct seriously and the university has a well-established process to investigate such claims through the U-M Office for Institutional Equity.
Jack Lessenberry is a contracted contributor to Michigan Radio. In this instance, we have thoroughly checked University of Michigan and Michigan Radio records and there have been no sexual misconduct complaints made regarding Mr. Lessenberry.
Michigan Radio will continue to air Mr. Lessenberry’s political commentaries during our ongoing assessment of this situation.
EDITOR NOTE: To avoid any conflict of interest, this story was reported by Cheyna Roth, who is not an employee of Michigan Radio, and edited by Peter Payette of Interlochen Public Radio. Michigan Radio added the UM statement to the story.