Questions arise on city attorney’s leave of absence

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – There’s a bit of a mystery happening in downtown Lansing. Mayor Virg Bernero says he’s appointing current deputy city attorney Joseph Abood to be the interim city attorney. That’s happening while the current city attorney Janene McIntyre is on a leave of absence.

But questions of why and how long the leave might last aren’t known right now.

That’s why Lansing City Council members are meeting Monday to get some answers.

Janene McIntyre has served as city attorney since 2013 and has also served as the interim human resources director this past year. That’s until Mayor Bernero selected Mary Riley as the new human resources director in January.

Around that time the council noticed McIntyre was not at meetings or in the office which is when concerns were raised by city council.

After a few weeks of noticing McIntyre was gone from the office, the council was notified she was on an indefinite leave of absence.

But that murky statement left the council asking for a formal definition of what it means for the role of city attorney and what comes next for the position.

“Let’s just say we have a lot of questions that we need answered,” said Judi Brown Clarke, president, Lansing City Council.

Clarke doesn’t know the exact day McIntyre stopped coming to work, but it wasn’t long after Mary Riley took over the human resources position which poses even further questions

“Her indefinite leave it, it does at bay questions it just seems interesting, interesting timeline, let’s put it that way, interesting timeline,” said Clarke.

This interesting timeline of McIntyre going on leave without explanations on how long it will last or the reasons behind why she is on leave are issues Clarke has never dealt with before.

“I’ve never experienced it this way. Within my past history, work history, it’s usually kind of a very sequential thing that happens and everybody know what those HR terms of leave are.”

Clarke said Monday’s meeting is all about getting those questions answered and waiting to vote on the interim city attorney until next week’s meeting.

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