Former city attorney loses appeal in Inkster discrimination case

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING β€” A federal appeals court has rejected a racial discrimination suit by the former Inkster city attorney who claims officials in the predominantly African-American city replaced him because he’s white. The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Milton Spokojny β€” who upset city council members by falling asleep at their meetings β€” failed to produce sufficient evidence that race was the reason he lost his long-time contract to provide legal services to Inkster, a city with a 73 percent black population. He was city attorney for 29 years until 2011 when Inkster solicited bids and chose Allen Brothers Law Firm, a Detroit firm with an African-American attorney who became the city attorney. Like most local governments in Michigan, Inkster retains private attorneys to represent it rather than having salaried lawyers on staff. They represent the municipality in civil matters, such as preparing contracts and handling lawsuits, and some also serve as prosecutors for traffic and other low-level offenses.