Warren Mayor says 'major scandal' brewing in Macomb County, compares to Flint

- Late Wednesday night, the mayor of Warren used his Facebook page to tell followers that a major scandal is brewing in Macomb County and even drew comparisons to Flint.

Mayor Jim Fouts wrote the Facebook post around 11 p.m. Wednesday, saying that an environmental scandal is brewing in the county and that it could cost the taxpayers millions.

Here's his complete post:

"A major environmental scandal is brewing in Macomb County. This could cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. I'm closely watching this development. If what I heard and understand is true this could cost the taxpayers a good deal of money and somebody must be held accountable for this unacceptable mess. This is a developing situation. Could be a mini version of what happened in Flint."

Immediately after he posted, friends and followers commented and asked him to talk more about what's happening. Specifically, some Facebook followers wanted to know what he meant about the 'mini version of what happened in Flint'.

On Thursday morning, around 11:40, Fouts posted another Facebook post to assure residents that water was safe and there is no 'environmental problem in our city.' Read his most recent statement:

Some speculated that it could be connected to Rizzo Waste Management and the company's recent pay-for-play scandal.

Other users say it was irresponsible for Fouts to post it without all the details.

Either way - Warren and Macomb County are hanging in suspense.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel held a news conference Thursday morning with Bill Ridella, the director of the Macomb County Health Department.

"No one knows what he was refering to, or what his issue was," Hackel said at the news conference. He says he called Fouts at 6 a.m. but that Fouts has "left him guessing."

Ridella says Warren officials have contacted the water department, who says they were blindsided by Fouts' post, too. They've also contacted the Great Lakes Water Authority and the state who are unaware of any issues, and Riedel says officials there assure there's no water problem in Warren.

Hackle says it's deplorable to create "that kind of hysteria in Macomb County."

"No public official should ever exploit the public crisis in Flint," Hackel said. 

FOX 2 is working on this story throughout the day on Thursday. Check back to this story for more information throughout the day.

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