Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones repeatedly refused to answer whether she had been contacted by the FBI during a deposition Wednesday for a lawsuit against the city, the Detroit Free Press reports.
At some point, a City of Detroit lawyer, representing Jones and the city, abruptly ended her appearance in the deposition, saying the questions from the opposing lawyer were nothing but a “fishing expedition” and were intended to embarrass Jones.
“Counsel, if you want to continue with this line of questioning and all the similar lines of questioning that has nothing to do with this case, I am adjourning this deposition and I’m going to seek a protective order. Are you going to — then fine, we’re adjourned. I’m seeking a protective order,” city attorney James Noseda said, according to the transcript obtained by the Freep.
Jones has not been named in connection with two ongoing, unrelated FBI investigations involving city officials: a probe of the city’s demolition program and separate scrutiny of towing magnate Gasper Fiore, writes Joe Guillen of the Freep, who goes on to report:
The council president’s sworn deposition was being taken as part of a lawsuit that two downtown bar owners filed in November 2016 against Mayor Mike Duggan and other city officials based on claims of police harassment and alleged favorable treatment that Dennis Archer Jr., former mayor Dennis Archer’s son, received while buying the building their bar occupies. The plaintiffs allege that Jones is one of the council members the bar owners had contacted about their situation.