Prosecutors Consider Criminal Charges In Demolition Of State Rep's Detroit House

WWJ News
October 12, 2019 - 3:43 pm

photo: WWJ/Vickie Thomas


DETROIT (WWJ) - Prosecutors are deciding if criminal charges are warranted after a Detroit lawmaker's house was apparently demolished without her permission.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's office said Friday that it received a not in custody warrant request in the case and is reviewing it, but is not expected to make a charging decision for at least a week. 

Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo filed a complaint with the city in September saying a home she owned on Minock Street, near Evergreen Road and Lyndon, was torn down without notice to her or her nonprofit group, Coalition to Integrate Technology and Education. Gay-Dagnogo didn't live in the home but planned to fix it up and make it available to a needy family by Christmas.

Detroit police launched an investigation and announced this week that Sherman Gipson, owner of local company Gipson Brothers Trucking, came forward and said he was responsible for the demolition. 

Police Chief James Craig said Wednesday that Gay-Dagnogo had inquired about bids to demolish the house, but had never given permission to go ahead.

"This contractor took it upon himself, we believe, to knock the house down," Craig said, adding that a warrant to file charges against Gipson would be sought.

Craig said the investigation took so long because Gay-Dagnogo did not initially reveal she had sought bids to raze the house. Investigator Rebecca McKay said an estimate was emailed to Gay-Dagnogo on Sept. 23 and she replied to say that she received this estimate.

"This was never shared with the police department," McKay said.

Gay-Dagnogo was briefed by police on the outcome of the investigation, but she says she's not totally convinced. She has asked the FBI to investigate, wondering if she was possibly targeted because of politics.

"I’ve reached out to the FBI and any other law enforcement to kind of have a balanced perspective of what this is and make sure that nothing else lies beneath," she told WWJ's Vickie Thomas.