A county clerk used her “political influence” to get her son reinstated in his Michigan public school district after he was expelled for allegedly sexually assaulting another student, a lawsuit claims.
The alleged victim’s mother filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and her husband Brad Delaney after her son was readmitted to the Mason Public School District last fall.
The lawsuit, reviewed by MailOnline, accuses Byrum and Delaney, a detective sergeant with the county sheriff’s office, of “acting under their unique positions of power” to conspire with the district and school board.
The complaint does not specify how the couple allegedly used their positions to influence officials, but argues that the school district acted with “indifference” when it came to the alleged victim and the decision to reinstate the boy.
The alleged assault took place in May 2022 at Mason Middle School, where both students were in eighth grade, the lawsuit states. The boy was charged with ‘digital penetration’ against a female student and expelled to ninth grade after a Title IX investigation. A no contact order was also imposed.
Byrum, a Democrat, is serving her third term as county clerk and was a state representative before being elected in 2013.
Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (pictured) and her husband Brad Delaney used ‘political influence’ to have their son reinstated in the Mason Public School District after the boy was expelled for allegedly sexually assaulting another student , a lawsuit claims.
The Title IX investigation determined that Byrum and Delaney’s son violated the school district’s policy prohibiting sexual assault when he allegedly put his hand down a female student’s pants during class, the complaint states.
The boy allegedly ignored her attempts to push him away and only stopped touching her when class ended. The lawsuit claims he tried to assault her again a few days later in another class.
Other classmates interviewed as part of the prosecution corroborated parts of the girl’s allegations, according to the complaint.
Mason police investigated the incident in May 2022, but “never spoke” to the boy, who was not charged. The alleged victim obtained a personal protection order against him that summer.
The Title IX investigation recommended that the boy be expelled and barred from the district for the 2022-23 academic year.
But the lawsuit alleges that the two young men have been “placed back in the exact same public school district” after the boy’s parents managed to mobilize district officials.
The girl has repeatedly complained about seeing her alleged attacker in the hallways, during lunch and during extracurricular activities, according to the lawsuit, which names the district, Mason High School Principal Lance Delbridge, Assistant Principal Nicholas Toodzio , Byrum and Delaney as defendants.
Her family claimed that she had suffered “significant distress” following her reinstatement, which negatively affected her grades and harmed her educational opportunities.
“It is very traumatic and something that could live with her forever,” Brandon Wolfe, who represents the alleged victim’s family, wrote in the lawsuit. ‘We want justice.’
He added that, for the victim, ‘every day is a constant reminder of having been sexually assaulted’ and of the ‘mental anguish over that shame.’
He went on to argue that the “constant contact” between the girl and her alleged attacker justified the personal protection order, which was only reinstated on January 24 of this year.
Michigan Department of Education policy states that students who have been expelled for any reason may petition the school board for reinstatement after 150 days.
Boards that allow the reinstatement of students add conditions to the reinstatement. According to the lawsuit, in the case of Byrum and Delaney’s son, a no-contact order was imposed between the boy and his accuser.
Wolfe, talking to him Lansing State Journal last week, he claims his clients didn’t know the reinstatement process was underway until the board made its decision.
Michigan law does not require that the girl have been informed of the boy’s reinstatement.
MailOnline has contacted Byrum, Delaney, Delbridge, Toodzio and Wolfe for comment.