Ingham County Clerk and former Democratic state representative Barb Byrum has broken her silence regarding a lawsuit alleging she and her husband exploited their political power to reinstate their son in school after he had been expelled for an alleged sexual assault.

Unsuccessful efforts to obtain a quote from Byrum were attempted in late February by The Midwesterner.

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Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker removed Byrum and her husband, Ingham County Deputy Sheriff Brad Delaney, from the Title IX lawsuit filed by the mother of the alleged victim of the sexual assault. The lawsuit alleged Byrum and Delaney used their “unique positions of power” to collude with the Mason Public School Board of Education to reinstate their son after his expulsion. The plaintiffs sought $75,000.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Brandon Wolfe, was undeterred, telling WKAR that he plans to file another lawsuit against Byrum and Delaney in state rather than federal court.

On Friday, Byrum released a statement, calling the lawsuit “frivolous, false and utterly irresponsible. The salacious allegations against my integrity in this suit were designed to embarrass my family and were a blatant attempt to shake me down because I am a public figure.”

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In a civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of a young woman who was alleged to have been sexually assaulted in an eighth-grade classroom by Byrum and Delaney’s son in May 2022. Also named in the lawsuit were the Mason Public School District, Mason High School Principal Lance Delbridge, and Mason High School Assistant Principal Nicholas Toodzio. Delbridge and Toodzio were also dismissed as defendants in the case by Jonker.

Byrum and Delaney’s son, called B.D. in court documents, was expelled after a Title IX investigation concluded he forced his hand down the front the sweatpants and undergarments of a classmate identified as E.M. According to the investigation, B.D. digitally penetrated E.M. in a classroom setting. He only stopped when the classroom bell rang. Several days later, according to the investigation, B.D. initiated another assault that E.M. was able to thwart.

According to filings from Wolfe last February: “B.D. was expelled from Mason Public School District in violation of Board Policy #2266 and Michigan law under MCL 380.1311(2) which provides ‘if a pupil…. commits a criminal sexual conduct in a school building or on school grounds… against another pupil in the same school district, the school board shall expel the pupil from the school district permanently… 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.”

In an email to the Lansing State Journal, Wolfe added he thinks Jonker handed his clients a victory.

“I think it’s a big win for the Plaintiff all the way around given the high bar to bring claims against the government,” he said.