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Michigan DHHS Worker Who Expressed Desire to Burn Down City of Howell Will Keep State Job

A state employee with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will reportedly be keeping her job after expressing a pro-terror sentiment on social media.

The DHHS employee tweeted on May 30 that “the first city to burn in michigan should be Howell, all in favor say I.” It was tweeted from the account @WowDamia, and later deleted, but not before it went viral and caused a fervor across Metro Detroit.

DHHS announced that the female employee, whose name has not been released to the public, would keep her job after a slap on the wrist.

“The employee who made the social media post will be serving a 10-day unpaid suspension,” Lynn Sutfin, spokesperson for MDHHS, said in an email. “They have expressed remorse for their actions and will receive additional training upon return to work.”

Howell Police Chief Scott Mannor does not believe that this punishment suffices for the reckless actions perpetrated by the state employee. He believes that the woman should receive a misdemeanor threat charge or even perhaps a felony charge of making a terrorist threat for encouraging Howell to be burned to the ground.

“She was calling to burn our city…,” Mannor said. “To me that’s a threat. It truly was. Anyone that calls to burn Howell, wanting it to be the first city in Michigan to burn, there should be consequences.”

City and county buildings were forced to close due to her threats earlier this month during a Black Lives Matter rally, which ultimately turned out to be peaceful. This ended up costing the taxpayers of Howell a great deal, and Mannor believes she ought to be held culpable for her actions.

“She got the whole ball rolling,” Mannor said. “Somebody threatens to burn the city, by God there needs to be some discipline.”

Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt has not ruled out levying charges toward the woman who made the threat.

“The matter was returned for further investigation to the Howell Police Department. It has not been completed or submitted to us to review,” Vailliencourt said in an email Wednesday.

“We will review the facts and we determine what laws were broken,” he said.

The fact that Whitmer’s administration has chosen to keep this woman on as an employee speaks volumes about their support for mob violence as it spreads throughout Michigan and the rest of the country.

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Shane Trejo
Shane is a long-time journalist and political activist with years of experience covering public policy.

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