Detroit public TV station WTVS is reinstating Stephen Henderson after an internal investigation of Henderson’s behavior came up clean.
Henderon, who has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his journalism, was fired last month by the Detroit Free Press, where he was managing director of opinion editor, following allegations of sexual misconduct, as iMediaEthics reported. The newspaper said it found “credible allegations of inappropriate behavior,” but noted Henderson wasn’t accused of sexual assault.
After those allegations and actions by the Free Press, WTVS stopped taping Henderson’s weekly program, American Black Journal. WTVS’s spokesperson Martin Fischhoff told the Detroit News that the station brought in “an independent law firm who found there were no inappropriate actions of any kind.”
Fischhoff told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “An internal, independent investigation was conducted by employment law specialists from a local law firm, who spoke with people who have worked with Stephen Henderson at Detroit Public Television or who have had an opportunity to observe his work.”
“The investigation revealed no inappropriate acts of any kind by Mr. Henderson with or directed to any DPTV personnel,” Fischhoff added. “No evidence was revealed that would indicate that the continuation of DPTV’s relationship with him compromises, in any way, the mission and values of DPTV. “As a result, Mr. Henderson, along with Christy McDonald, Nolan Finley, producer Daphne Hughes and the DPTV team, will produce the next MiWeek and American Black Journal as scheduled on Jan. 4.”
In addition, Henderson has a program on WDET 101.9 FM, but the station’s manager Michelle Srbinovich told iMediaEthics that it didn’t see “cause to terminate” Henderson. That said, the manager said the station would investigate to make sure “staff has the opportunity to share their concerns.”
After the Free Press fired him, Henderson said he may sue, claiming the incidents in question were “sexually themed conversations” and “rejected advances.”
iMediaEthics has written to Henderson to ask for his response to the station’s review and decision.
UPDATED: 1/2/2017 3:30 PM EST With information from WTVS