A growing number of women accuse him of sexual harassment and other questionable behavior.
The allegations, first published in an extensive article in Deadline Detroit, date back decades. The article quoted women who worked with Lessenberry and students he taught at Wayne State University.
One accusation includes inappropriate physical contact; others cite inappropriate remarks.
“By mutual agreement, Mr. Lessenberry’s responsibilities as a contracted contributor to Michigan Radio will end immediately,” says University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald in a written statement. “Mr. Lessenberry will officially resign from Michigan Radio effective July 31.”
Since the Deadline Detroit article was published one week ago, Lessenberry stepped away from his duties at WSU while the university conducts an investigation. He also resigned as a columnist for the Metro Times.
In a statement, Lessenberry acknowledges the allegations.
“I am saddened by the events of the last several days and admit to absolutely no wrongdoing whatsoever,” Lessenberry’s statement reads in part, “but (I) have decided to resign to pursue new opportunities and avoid distracting listeners from the fine work of Michigan Radio.”
Lessenberry is also the ombudsman for the Toledo Blade and the host of a public affairs program on Toledo's WGTE-TV. The paper did not immediately respond to inquiries as to his employments status.
WGTE-TV says Lessenberry works on a volunteer basis and that no one has registered any complaints about him. A spokeswoman said the station is monitoring the situation and the investigation being conducted by Wayne State University.