Warren Mayor Fouts denies it's him on audio recordings disparaging mentally challenged

New recordings have surfaced in the public feud between Warren Mayor Jim Fouts and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel Thursday.

>>Listen to the recordings at the bottom of this story.

Recordings sent to FOX 2 by Hackel feature audio of a voice that sounds like Fouts talking about mentally challenged people.  Fouts refuted the recordings and said that they were electronically engineered by Hackel.

Hackel said the tapes were released to him last night. The audio clips have are not verified as being Fouts' voice.

In the recordings, a voice says "Tonight I am going to meet a bunch of retards. Tonight is retard night."

In a second recording a voice that sounds like Fouts says "Fine I guess, what good are they, they are dysfunctional human beings. They are not even human beings."

In another recording the person says that meeting with the mentally challenged is "one of the worst things about being mayor.

"This is bottom of the barrel," the voice said. "I don't (inaudible) to retarded people and I don't want to be around them. I wish them well in a cage."

Fouts denies the voice was him on the tape in a post on Facebook.

“In response to the nasty tape recording released by Mark Hackel. It's clear this an attempt to silence me and intimidate me. I question the validity of this AWFUL tape, the context of the tape, and who was also speaking and where this speech was recorded.

“The contents of this tape DO NOT reflect my attitude towards the mentally challenged. Mark Hackel will do anything and everything to disparage me. This recording was not me! (he has the expertise available to him to electronically engineer it).

"This is a PHONY tape with more to come. As I said when Mark Hackel can't argue with facts he attacks. This was a garbled tape. A vicious attempt to discredit me. Mark Hackel will do anything to cover up his crime even the use of anonymous phony tapes.

"Mark Hackel has reached a new low in politics. All because I have requested an attorney general investigation of the cover-up of the illegal dumping at Freedom Hill.”

The political battle between the two stems from a dispute over a landfill incident at Freedom Hill. Fouts wrote on Facebook that this summer 200,000 yards of dirt was moved on the former landfill site at Freedom Hill causing the ground to collapse and  40 methane gas monitor sites were covered up and/or damaged. About 100 trees were destroyed.

Fouts said at the time that a Flint analogy he used was about an environmental disaster being  covered up by government officials. Fouts says that there is concern that contaminates will be leaching from the site into the Red Run Drain.

At the time Hackel bristled at the comments, saying at the time he tried calling Mayor Fouts say to get more information, but never heard back.

"To not want to call us back when you're talking about Macomb County yet wanting to play with social media to create a stir for the public," Hackel said. "I don't know what his issue is."

"Before you post something like that make sure you know what's going on and inform the public before you speculate or whatever you want to call it."

Stay with FOX 2 for more information as it becomes available. The recordings are below. They have not been verified as Fouts' voice. A fifth recording has the person who sounds like Fouts talking about prostitutes.

Caution: Explicit language is used in the recordings.


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