Warren city attorney says council has declared war on Mayor Fouts' administration

Ethan Vinson was appointed Warren's city attorney in 2017, one of only two African-Americans in a leadership positions.  

But when a new council took over after the election in November 2019, it appeared there was a bad blood between the council and the city attorney. 

Vinson has essentially called the Warren City Council racists. 

"There is no doubt in my mind that if there had been a white city attorney we would not have been going through this," Vinson said.

Patrick Green the council president - who is white - disagrees.

"That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," Green said.

Green essentially said that Vinson shouldn't even be city attorney.  The council says Mayor Jim Fouts never formally reappointed Vinson.

"It's a custom that has been practiced and it is our interpretation of the charter, the mayor and the council disagree on it," Green said.

"Just like the president, when he gets reelected he doesn't reappoint the cabinet," Vinson said.

And finally at a special meeting April 21st, Vinson was essentially fired - but Vinson said the council doesn't have the authority to.

Nevertheless, Vinson filed an employment discrimination claim with the EEOC alleging racism.

"Part of it is racism and part of it is, 'We hate Jim Fouts,'" Vinson said.

"We don't like or dislike the mayor. We are here to do a job for the people," Green said.

The charter of Warren was made in the 1950s. Obviously there needs to be some clarification. But until there can be a revision. Ultimately a court will have to decide."

"We need our own attorney and we're going to go out and get one," Green said.

"Basically they've declared war on the Fouts’ administration," Vinson said.