The ex-wife of Michigan state Treasurer Andy Dillon has been granted a protection order against a reporter she says threatened to kill her with a baseball bat and sent her a picture of his penis.
UPDATE: August 22 -- In response to the allegations against Leonard Fleming outlined in the protection order -- which has since been lifted -- Fleming's attorney, Deanna Kelley, made the following statement to The Huffington Post via email:
Although personal protection orders serve an important role in protecting victims of abuse, they are very often used as a sword instead of a shield. Mr Fleming is in possession of documents which proved Ms. [Carol] Dillon's allegations were completely false; and that she threatened to interfere with his job and file this PPO if he didn't do what she wanted.
It took great restraint on Mr. Fleming's part to read the untrue allegation about himself and not respond publicly. However, it appears that his experience may be very relevant to Mr. [Andy] Dillon, given that [Carol Dillon] has now made similar accusations against him. When petitioners make false allegations and use the PPO as a sword instead of a shield, then the respondent becomes the victim. I believe Mr Fleming was the true victim here.
UPDATE: August 21 -- Carol Dillon's protection order against Fleming was lifted in March at her request, The Maynard Institute reported. The Institute also notes that the protection order was initially granted "without a hearing at which both sides could testify."
In a petition filed in Wayne County Circuit Court on January 10, Carol Dillon, 50, wrote that Detroit News reporter Leonard Fleming, 43, had repeatedly harassed her with phone calls and text messages, according to the Detroit Free Press.
In December, Fleming allegedly sent her a nude photo with a message stating that she "would be missing this if I discontinued being his friend," Deadline Detroit reported.
The woman says she told Fleming the photo was inappropriate, but on January 3 he allegedly began calling to harass her again, "telling me he wanted to be friends and was looking for more of a relationship … He kept threatening me by saying I would be sorry if I didn't see him."
Just two days later, Dillon said, Fleming and an unidentified friend allegedly “proceeded to say they will find me and kill me with a baseball bat.”
The nature of Dillon and Fleming's relationship prior to the harassment incidents is unclear. In her petition, Dillon checked a box stating that the two were "friends."
However, according to Motor City Muckraker, a spokesperson for the Detroit News confirmed that there were allegations Dillon and Fleming had been having an affair prior to the harassment.
As a reporter, Fleming had been "closely covering" the office of Dillon's ex-husband, state Treasurer Andy Dillon for months as he "negotiated a controversial state takeover of Detroit City Hall," the Muckraker reported.
Carol and Andy Dillon filed for divorce in March 2011, citing an "irreparable breakdown" in their relationship, and the divorce was finalized in October.
Detroit News Managing Editor Don Nauss told the Detroit Free Press that Fleming has been reassigned and is no longer covering Detroit's financial affairs.
Carol Dillon's protection order prohibits Fleming from entering her property or contacting her in person, by phone or by mail.