By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Physical therapist Olajide Akunrounmu is suing the city and its police department among others claiming his photo was wrongly used in a press release and press conference in July.
The lawsuit filed by Attorney Vincent Lorelli in U.S. District Court on Oct. 5 accused officials of using Akunrounmu’s photo instead of Dr. Tete Oniango.
Oniango is facing federal drug charges after he allegedly supplied prescription narcotics to drug dealers out of his office at Golden Triangle Rehabilitation Services in Dearborn.
According to the Detroit News, Lorelli said that Dearborn officials had Oniango’s mug shot in their possession and knew what Oniango looked like because of the long investigation with other agencies.
Lorelli also said the photo used of Akunrounmu was cut out of a personal group photo that included other people.
“This photo was altered by the city of Dearborn for their own wrongful use,” Lorelli wrote in the lawsuit. He also claimed that the false implication, “tarnished the good name and reputation” and has cost him business.
Another statement in the lawsuit claims Akunrounmu’s constitutional rights were violated by the city and officials which could have been prevented.
Akunrounmu is seeking a minimum of $75,000 in punitive damages.
The Police Department referred comment to the city’s public information department director, Mary Laundroche, who said the city does not comment on pending litigation.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)