(This story was updated with additional information at 3:25 p.m.)
FRIDAY, March 25 — TJ Bucholz, a Democratic consultant at the center of a sexual harassment scandal at his firm Vanguard Public Affairs, was “transported” to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing yesterday morning after a “suicide threat/attempt,” sources confirmed with City Pulse today.
A well-placed source confirmed the information last night. Bucholz’s condition is unknown.
City Pulse reported yesterday that Bucholz had been transported by ambulance from his home, however, Eaton County 911 Dispatch call records do not verify the method of transportation.
The source of that initial information — which labeled the incident as an "apparent suicide attempt" — amended their statement today to clarify that they knew Bucholz had been “transported,” from his residence and had assumed it was by ambulance. Dispatch records also verified that the call could've been related to threats of suicide rather than attempts.
Jackie Ewing, administrative assistant to Michael Armitage, director of the Eaton County 911 Center, confirmed today that dispatchers received a call yesterday at 10:57 a.m. for “suicidal threat/attempt” at Bucholz’s home in Grand Ledge. She didn’t find any reports of an ambulance.
Officials at the Grand Ledge Police Department confirmed officers were dispatched near his home in Grand Ledge but would neither confirm or deny the reported suicide threat or attempt.
Detroit Free Press reporter Paul Egan tweeted this morning that Bucholz’ attorney Derrick George had labeled the reports of a suicide attempt as “patently false.” City Pulse stands by its reporting, which is now corroborated by multiple named and unnamed sources.
In a text message exchange with City Pulse, George said he wasn’t aware of an emergency dispatch to Bucholz’s home. He was asked to explain the discrepancy between what he was telling the Detroit Free Press and the official Eaton county records. He declined to comment — at least until “we are able to assess whatever information you received,” George added.
Bucholz, 50, is the owner of Vanguard Public Affairs in downtown Lansing. The company does political consulting for mostly Democratic and progressive candidates and issues. Nearly a dozen women came forward this week to paint a picture of a workplace rife with sexual harassment, allegedly perpetrated by Bucholz, as first reported by Chris Savage at Eclectablog.
Among those alleging inappropriate sexual text messages from Bucholz was Lansing Mayor Andy Schor’s former campaign manager Chelsea Coffey, who said she confided in Schor that Bucholz was a “creep.” She left the firm shortly thereafter and took a job with the city, she said.
Schor later appointed Bucholz to the Downtown Lansing Inc. Board of Directors even after that conversation with Coffey, but clarified with City Pulse that he had “no knowledge of this pattern of toxic behavior, nor the extent to which it escalated with others.” Schor asked Bucholz to resign from the board yesterday morning, after the allegations made headlines. Bucholz has since resigned.
“I was told about an inappropriate message that was sent to a woman and I supported the woman who came to me in the way she requested,” Schor said. “This behavior is completely unacceptable and these allegations need to be treated with the seriousness they deserve. It’s important that we listen to all of the courageous women who are telling their stories.”
Allegations against Bucholz are also documented by the Detroit Free Press. City Pulse has also been interviewing women about their experiences and will follow up with a more in-depth story.