(WJBK) - The City of Warren has been named in a lawsuit filed by the city's first African American police officer. He is claiming racism and sexism as the case moves through federal court.
It's forcing the city's mayor to once again answer questions about those infamous, alleged recordings of Mayor Jim Fouts using the N-word and other discriminatory comments.
"This is a desperate effort to try and drag me into a case that I have nothing to do with," Fouts said.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts refusing to answer questions during a deposition about those alleged recordings of Fouts making derogatory comments.
The tapes surfaced in 2016.
He wouldn't answer if it was him in that recording during deposition last month but did when we asked.
"These are manipulated manufactured tapes I don't know how they were done how they used my voice I have no idea I don't know who did it," he said.
The series of questions regarding the tapes came from attorney Leonard Mungo as part of a suit filed by former Warren Police Officer Desheila Howlett, the first African American officer ever hired.
The suit claims a decade of mistreatment from co-workers based on her race and sex.
"Each of the accounts allege a violation of her civil rights and constitutional rights," Leonard Mungo said.
Mungo says when his client spoke up about the alleged mistreatment she was retaliated against.
"She was peppered over 10 years with inappropriate racial comments and innuendos and jokes that kind of wore her down," she said.
Mungo's reasoning for bringing Fout's into this in the first place was to show the possibility of cultural racism among city leadership contributing to his client's alleged treatment.
But Fouts says since he was appointed mayor he's pushed for more diversity in the police force and in his own office.
"The fact is of all the mayors in warren I have done more for diversity than all of them put together," Fouts said.
A judge will decide if Fouts will be forced to answer questions about those recordings and if that is evidence Attorney Mungo can use in the discrimination suit against the City of Warren.