Calls for Michigan civil rights director to step down grow

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LANSING, MI (AP) -- Calls for the head of the Michigan agency that investigates discrimination complaints to resign are growing as new details emerge about inappropriate comments he admitted objectified women.

The Civil Rights Commission reprimanded Department of Civil Rights Director Agustin Arbulu after remarks he made to a male staffer outside a May listening session. (Source: Michigan.gov)

The Civil Rights Commission reprimanded Department of Civil Rights Director Agustin Arbulu after remarks he made to a male staffer outside a May listening session.

Documents obtained by news outlets Friday say that Arbulu told the staffer to "check out" a woman, among other things. Later, Arbulu told an investigator that he was waiting for his adult daughter and he described his daughter as "hot."

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer blasted the commission's decision to let Arbulu keep his job. Two state lawmakers have called for him to resign.

Arbulu says his comments were a mistake, but he's focused on continuing his work at the department.

In response, House Democratic Caucus Chair Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) is calling for his resignation, and has issued the following statement:

“The Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as a leader for an organization that is integral to ensuring every person in Michigan feels safe and welcome while at work, school and in public spaces. Arbulu’s behavior and comments have illustrated that he is not fit to exercise this responsibility, and I am deeply disturbed by the Commission’s choice to retain him in this position despite the findings of their investigation. We must hold our leaders accountable for their actions to truly protect the safety and rights of all Michiganders, which is why I am calling on the director to resign immediately.”

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