The disclosure Wednesday that Leonard Fleming, Detroit News city hall reporter, was removed from his beat after allegations that he was having an affair with the ex-wife of state Treasurer Andy Dillon and threatened to kill her sent rival news organizations to court records for the order of personal protection granted the woman on Jan. 10.
The News, however, decided not to cover the story, and Fleming told Elisha Anderson of the competing Detroit Free Press by telephone, “I cannot comment on any of it.” Fleming has been on vacation.
Asked about the absence of coverage, Managing Editor Donald W. Nauss told Journal-isms by email, “Nothing new.”
Jeff Wattrick of Deadline Detroit wrote this on Wednesday:
“Carol Dillon, the ex-wife of Michigan Treasurer Andy Dillon, received a personal protection order Jan. 10 against Detroit News reporter Leonard Fleming after Carol Dillon filed papers saying Fleming had threatened to kill her with a baseball bat.
“According to documents in Wayne County Circuit Court, Carol Dillon also said Fleming harassed her numerous times and once texted her a photo of his penis. She said the message was: ‘I would be missing this if I discontinued being his friend.’
“Despite that allegation, the nature of their relationship is not spelled out in the papers. When asked whether Fleming is a boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, spouse, ex-spouse, friend or neighbor, Dillon checked ‘friend.’
“Fleming has been a Detroit city hall reporter for the News for several years. Andy Dillon was constantly involved in city hall coverage in 2012 as he served as Gov. Rick Snyder’s point person in crafting the consent decree with Detroit concerning the city’s precarious finances. Fleming wrote numerous stories last year in which Dillon was a main player.