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Jack Lessenberry resigning from Michigan Radio amid harassment allegations

Michigan Radio

Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio’s longtime senior political analyst, is resigning.

Lessenberry’s resignation comes as a growing number of women accuse him of sexual harassment and other questionable behavior.

The allegations, first published in an extensive article in Deadline Detroit, date back decades. The article quoted women who worked with Lessenberry and students he taught at Wayne State University.

One accusation includes inappropriate physical contact; others cite inappropriate remarks.

“By mutual agreement, Mr. Lessenberry’s responsibilities as a contracted contributor to Michigan Radio will end immediately,” says University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald in a written statement. “Mr. Lessenberry will officially resign from Michigan Radio effective July 31.”

Since the Deadline Detroit article was published one week ago, Lessenberry stepped away from his duties at WSU while the university conducts an investigation. He also resigned as a columnist for the Metro Times.

In a statement, Lessenberry acknowledges the allegations.

“I am saddened by the events of the last several days and admit to absolutely no wrongdoing whatsoever,” Lessenberry’s statement reads in part, “but (I) have decided to resign to pursue new opportunities and avoid distracting listeners from the fine work of Michigan Radio.” 

EDITOR NOTETo avoid a conflict of interest, this story was edited by Peter Payette of Interlochen Public Radio.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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