State News

Ann Arbor mystery: Why is new police chief on leave amid investigation?

February 11, 2020, 10:04 AM

Michael Cox, who moved from Boston, has led Ann Arbor's foce since July. (Photo: Ann Arbor Police Department)

After just seven months on the job, Ann Arbor's top cop did something so serious he's on administrative leave for at least two weeks. 

No one describes Chief Michael Cox's misdeed publicly yet. The Detroit Free Press refers softly to "unclear circumstances." We choose "mystery."  

City Administrator Howard Lazarus put Cox on paid leave "pending resolution of a personnel matter," he tells commanders and officers in an email message, the Freep and other media report.

The Free Press quotes Councilman Ali Ramlawi:

"We haven’t been told exactly why to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation. … We're not necessarily pleased with the fact that we're in the dark right now."

An outside investigation is under way, Lazarus tells council members.

Lisa Jackson, chair of an Independent Community Police Oversight Commission, tells The Michigan Daily student newspaper:

"I do not know as much as I would like to know. The commission is a little concerned that we were given the same amount of the information as the public was. We were not told why. ...

"If there is an investigation we want to know into what. If there is an investigation we’d like to know on what evidence that investigation is being conducted. Those are things we don’t have answers to now, and those are things we would like and we would like that information to be made public."

The sidelined chief, picked from among three finalists after a months-long search, served for 30 years on the police force in Boston, his hometown. He earns $160,000 a year.

"I would love to [comment]," Cox replies to a message from MLive, "but this is not the appropriate time."

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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