SE Michigan political leaders sound off on Warren mayor controversy

The scandal in Warren a hot topic today at the Detroit Economic Club.

The so-called "Big Four" county executives L. Brooks Patterson, Warren Evans and Mark Hackel along with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan were talking policy and candidly sharing their opinions on Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

Normally when they get together they discuss regional cooperation or how much money the federal government can dish out here.  Those topics were discussed, but one topic stood out Tuesday afternoon.

"If what Fouts is saying is true and somebody faked Fouts’ voice and put on a tape, somebody committed a felony," said Duggan.

The second set of tapes has someone that sounds like Jim Fouts degrading women and African-Americans surfaced Monday. But the Warren mayor says it's not his voice on those tapes.

"There is no question it's his voice on those conversations," said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.

"There's a hypocrisy I think in sitting back and not asserting more vigorously that he didn't do it," Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said.

"That has got to be the most absurd thing I've heard in my 30 years of law enforcement as a defense to what that mayor said," Hackel said.

And then there's this insight.

"I was in Jim Fouts' office about a week ago when he got a call from his proctologist," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "They said they found his head."

Funny to some at the large gathering at Cobo center for the Detroit Economic Club's luncheon. But at one point, Mark Hackel called for the Justice Department to investigate the Fouts situation.

"I would hope you would do the honorable thing on behalf of the residents of the city of Warren, as well as Macomb County and the region and all public officials and say that it was probably the wrong thing to say and look for some kind of forgiveness or I am going to step down."

"Mark is right, it does reflect on all of us," Patterson said. "I think Warren is the third largest city in the state and you would expect more from your politicians."

It's unlikely that the Warren City Council could force Fouts to resign and unless a citizen gets a recall petition going, it's likely the mayor will serve out his term."

"If what Mayor Fouts is saying is true, that would mean a number of felonies committed," Duggan said. "Which means he needs to go to the state police today and file criminal charges today. Otherwise that means he's lying."

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