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Gov. Whitmer bars embattled civil rights chief from cabinet meetings

Agustin Arbulu
Michigan Civil Rights Commission

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has barred embattled Michigan civil rights director Agustin Arbulu from cabinet meetings. Whitmer says it’s time for Arbulu to be fired for “unacceptable conduct.”

The Civil Rights Commission – not the governor – is in charge of the department. But the governor decides who attends her cabinet meetings, and she says Arbulu is no longer welcome to meet with her and other department directors. In a letterto the commission, the governor also says she’s directed her department heads to interact with Arbulu only in situations where it’s required by law.

Arbulu is alleged to have made inappropriate comments about women and sexuality to a department employee who is gay. Whitmer says she thinks the best option right now would be for the commission to reconsider its decision to discipline Arbulu but keep him on the job. Instead, she says, it’s time for him to go.

The commission chair says the governor’s request is under review.

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