Nader Nassif resigns from Ann Arbor DDA board following sexual assault allegations
Nader Nassif, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board member charged with sexual assault, has resigned, Mayor John Hieftje confirmed on Friday.
Hieftje said he plans to nominate someone to replace Nassif on the DDA board at the council's next meeting. He nominated Rishi Narayan, co-owner of Underground Printing, to replace outgoing board member Leah Gunn at the council's meeting Thursday night.
Courtesy of WCSO
Hieftje said he wants to make sure all downtown business associations are represented and he's looking for someone from the Main Street area. He also wants to appoint someone to represent one of Ann Arbor's fastest-growing employment sectors.
"I'm talking to people who are software engineers and entrepreneurs because that's a growing segment in the downtown — people in the computer software business," he said.
As the city continues to see an expanding downtown tech hub, Hieftje said, it would be beneficial to have someone from that arena bring their perspective to the DDA board table.
Nassif was arrested July 31 in the 200 block of South Fourth Avenue. The warrant lists him as residing on that block.
Police confirmed the victim was a female over 18 and the two were acquainted. The warrant indicates the victim was "mentally incapacitated" at the time of the alleged crime.
Nassif's attorney, Joe Simon, declined to comment on the case this week.
Nassif is a criminal defense attorney and was a member of the Ann Arbor DDA since 2011. He is a partner with Model Cities Legal Services, with which the city contracts to provide legal representation to indigent persons charged with misdemeanor offenses in 15th District Court.
"I'm extremely disappointed that this happened — it's a tragic situation for everyone involved," Hieftje said of the alleged sexual assault.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.