JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Emails described as “crude and discriminatory” helped get a mid-Michigan city clerk fired from office.
Last week, Andrew Wrozek was removed from his duties as city clerk by the Jackson City Clerk.
They cited his mishandling of petitions aimed to block the city’s LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, and emails he sent using his city email account, which violated city policy.
What they contained was a mystery, until now.
6 News obtained those emails from the city of Jackson using a Freedom of Information Act request.
They sent hundreds of documents, containing graphic material that the former city clerk continues to defend.
When talking to him Wednesday morning, Wrozek told 6 News that he believes all of this is a smear campaign against him.
“They were out to smear me because I signed that NDO petition and because I qualified the petition,” Wrozek said.
The email release from the city contains documents that council members saw before firing the clerk.
The majority of them are right-wing political memes Wrozek sent from his city email account.
The majority of them contain mentions of immigrants, liberals, Hillary Clinton, the 2016 election, former President Barack Obama, and President Donald Trump.
One of them references throwing stones at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
“I don’t think there’s anything discriminatory about any of them. Some are funny,” Wrozek said.
They also contain sexual joke emails that he sent out.
Along with a picture of President Trump and former President Obama shaking hands that references the current president’s infamous claim of grabbing women’s genitals.
“Was that offensive? No, that was funny,” Wrozek said.
The documents show Wrozek used his account for personal use; settling gambling bets, filing taxes, and using it to donate $75 to the Trump presidential campaign.
Wrozek says he realizes some of this material was not appropriate for his city email, and he knowingly went against city policy.
“I apologize if someone was offended,” Wrozek said.
When the controversy surrounding the NDO was heating up and Wrozek’s job was on the line, the documents reveal that he offered to quit, but only if the city paid him $40,000.
City records show that was already making $130,000 a year.
“They pay off everybody they fire. So if they’re going to fire me. Sure, pay me,” Wrozek said.
The city fired him with no pay off.
However, Wrozek is still working in city hall as the elected city treasurer.
“I will continue to do a good job for them as I have continued to do for them over the last 35 years. I only wanted to let the people have their voice on those petitions,” Wrozek said.
Wrozek has been working as the city clerk and treasurer in recent years in an effort to save the city money.
Right now it appears the city of Jackson doesn’t have a problem with Wrozek continuing to serve as city treasurer.
In order for him to be removed from office, Wrozek would have to resign, or citizens would have to launch an effort to recall him.
6 News reached out to the city of get a response to Wrozek’s claims of officials trying to smear his reputation.
“While city administrators and its council worked to keep Andrew Wrozek’s work emails private, the fact of the matter is that as a government employee, the emails are public record. Following a number of FOIA requests and subsequent releases of those emails, we feel the reasons for Wrozek’s dismissal are clear.”
When the city council voted to remove Wrozek, only Mayor Bill Jors and Councilman Craig Pappin voted to keep him on.
Mayor Jors told 6 News that while he didn’t get a full look at the emails, he didn’t think they warranted him getting fired.
Councilman Pappin declined commenting on his vote to keep Wrozek.