Ingham County Clerk Barbara Byrum and her husband Brad Delaney, a detective sergeant with the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, are alleged in a suit filed in federal court to have used their respective political positions to circumvent a Mason Schools expulsion, Title IX complaint, and a personal protection order against their son.

Mason High School Principal Lance Delbridge and Assistant Principal Nicholas Toodzio are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

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Attorney Brandon Wolfe in late January filed the federal civil rights complaint against Byrum, Delaney, the Mason Public School District and the Mason Board of Education alleging a conspiracy that violated his adolescent female client’s rights under both school policy, Michigan law, and federal Title IX guidelines.

Prior to serving as Ingham County Clerk, Byrum was a Democratic member of the Michigan House of Representatives from Jan. 1, 2007 to Jan. 1, 2013, succeeding her mother, former House Minority Leader Dianne Byrum.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (r) with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

In 2022, Byrum and Delaney’s son – identified in court documents as B.D. – was in eighth grade when he was expelled from Mason Public Schools for violating school policy and state law for criminal sexual conduct.

Court documents note that B.D. on May 12, 2022, “Plaintiff E.M. was sitting in her English class at a table when B.D., who was attending the same class, pulled her chair closer to him and leaned forward as if he was going to tell her a secret but instead, forcefully put his hand inside E.M.’s sweatpants and underwear and digitally penetrated her vagina without consent.”

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The documents detail a second event that occurred on May 16, 2022: “BD sat next to E.M. again on May 16, 2022, in a different classroom and once again pulled up a chair and tried to perform the same act, rubbing E.M.’s upper/inner thigh on the outside of her pants. E.M. abruptly got up and moved away without B.D. saying anything to her.”

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (l) with U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin

A subsequent Title IX investigation resulted in findings by the school district “that BD’s unwelcome touching and digital penetration to E.M. was so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denied E.M. equal access to the district’s educational program in violation of her civil rights.”

B.D. was expelled, but according to the Jan. 2024 complaint filed against Byrum and Delaney: “Approximately 150 days after the suspension, B.D.’s parents petitioned — using their local political influence — the Mason Board of Education for reinstatement of B.D.”

Byrum and Delaney’s son was reinstated in school, which forced his eighth-grade victim to share classrooms, hallways, and extracurricular activities with him everyday.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (r) with Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist

“These face-to-face contacts are also in direct violation of the [personal protection order] put in place by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Garcia which provides ‘B.D. poses a credible threat to the physical safety of E.M. and interferes with E.M.’s place of education or engaging in conduct that impairs her educational relationship or environment.’”

In a phone conversation with The Midwesterner, Wolfe called the treatment of his client “a miscarriage of justice,” adding “How can you possibly be an advocate for survivors right after the [Michigan State University sports medicine physician Larry Nassar] situation? How can you possibly say you’re an advocate for survivors but then force your kid to basically go back to the same school where there’s a victim of sexual assault,” he said.

“The school board completely dropped the ball because that no contact order isn’t worth the paper that it’s written on … and it treats her as equally blameworthy for the assault,” Wolfe continued. “She’s restricted from going to certain areas, taking certain classes, and still sees him every single day.”

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (l) with U.S. Sen. Gary Peters

As a Democratic Representative in 2012, Byrum was prohibited from speaking on the last day of the session by House Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, for mocking Republican bills on abortion when she attempted to insert an amendment regulating vasectomies.

Byrum’s account on X, formerly Twitter, features a plethora of corny jokes and riddles, but as well snide attacks on her political rivals, most outside of Ingham County. But in 2015, she shared a resource about sexual consent:

In 2012, she shared an article in the far-left Nation magazine about how the body reacts to sexual assault:

Byrum did not respond to an email inquiry from The Midwesterner requesting a comment.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, and U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson all refused to respond to email inquiries from The Midwesterner, as well.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (l) with congressional candidate Curtis Hertel

Wolfe, on the other hand, had much to say, including that most media outlets are not divulging the names of Byrum and Delaney.

“[Some media outlets] have posted the the actual names or printed the names,” he said. “But look I mean it’s a public document, and it’s a federal lawsuit against them. I think you would just be reporting the accuracy of what’s going on and I think it really seems to be corruption. I mean how else would you explain this egregious favoritism for this child. There’s just really no other explanation for it,” he said.