Investigation dropped, but critic of Ficano blames him for Wayne County mess

 Federal investigators announced that the three-year probe of Wayne County is over and that no one else will face charges.

That is good news for former county executive Robert Ficano, who saw several of his aides go to jail.

In addition, he leaves behind a $70 million general fund deficit as well as an unfinished jail project millions over budget that will have to be paid for by taxes for years.

RELATED: Ficano stopped by FOX 2 to discuss his reaction at the investigation coming to a close. See the video above.

Andy Arena, the former head of the Detroit FBI office says even though Ficano won't be facing charges, he is still responsible for the mess he left behind.

"There's felony and then there's felony-stupid," said Arena, the executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission. "There's criminal activity and then there's ineptness. I'm not really sure all of this falls out."

Arena led the FBI's Detroit office when the investigation began more than three years ago. 

"There were like five indictments in the fist six months of the case," Arena said. "That led me to believe that it was going to roll on." 

Four Wayne County appointees and employees went to prison. 

-Assistant Wayne County executive Michael Grundy was convicted of fraud and was sentenced to seven and a half years.

-Chief Information Officer Tahir Kazmi pleaded guilty to accepting bribes. He is serving 57 months in prison.

-Information Technology worker Zayd Allebban was convicted of obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 41 months.

-Information Technology executive David Edwards admitted to taking a bribe and received a 12-month sentence. 

Contractor Keith Griffin pleaded guilty to public corruption for his role in a scheme involving Grundy. He is awaiting sentencing.

"You can't say nothing was going on because you've got (four) people in jail," Arena said.

It has been nearly three years since Arena left to run the Detroit Crime Commission. 

The decision by investigators to clear Ficano and the rest of his top aides surprised him, he said.

But Arena is also not second-guessing his former colleagues.

"I am going to give (U.S. Attorney) Barbara McQuade and the FBI the benefit of the doubt," he said. "I've been in their shoes. If they are telling me that this is what it is, I have to take it at face value.

"Sometimes in these cases, you hit a wall and that's it. People don't talk, there is nothing else there."

Arena said that Ficano might be guilty of something that is not against the law. 

"When you're the man, you're the leader, it is up to you to set the culture," Arena said. "To set forth the environment that everybody is going to work in. And if this stuff is going on and maybe you're not criminally culpable. You are still culpable for the environment you've set up."

Based on what Arena has seen, the culture of Wayne County under Ficano was less than desirable. 

"It was a culture that was allowed to exist," Arena said. "Where people were able to take advantage of the situation knowing that those above them were not going to hold them responsible."

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