Radio Made in Michigan
11:15 am
Wed December 18, 2013

New MI Civil Rights head plots department's direction

Michigan Department of Civil Rights executive director Matt Wesaw
Michigan Department of Civil Rights executive director Matt Wesaw
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is calling for a review of an apparent murder dating back to 1970.  The incident, still unsolved, took the life of one of the department’s own, its first executive director.

Burton Gordin became the first person to lead the then-new Michigan Department of Civil Rights in 1964.   Authorities say he died after being shot several times in a downtown parking structure in an apparent robbery gone wrong.

Over the years, the case had gone cold. The department's new Executive Director, Matt Wesaw, talked about the case and other civil rights issues with Current State.

Wesaw says he supports efforts to recognize the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents, but he wouldn't clarify his personal position on gay marriage.

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