WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - Embattled Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has given his annual State of the City address - but this time, without an audience.
Fouts pre-recorded the address Tuesday at City Hall. The State of the City address will now be aired on the city's cable station. You can also watch it online here.
In it, he focuses on new economic development, diversity inclusion and a plan to alleviate flooding in the city. He talked about a new detention basin, which will store sewer system overflow that causes basement and street flooding.
"This is one of the long-range answers to a chronic flooding problem in Warren that we have had for many years," he said.
Fouts has been the subject of criticism after audio tapes were released allegedly of him making offensive statements about African Americans, women and children with disabilities. Earlier this week, the Macomb County election commission rejected six petitions to recall him.
Mayor Fouts didn't address the controversy directly in his address, but he did say a thank you for those supporting him.
"Your very empathetic support to me at public events, in e-mails, on my home phone are greatly appreciated and highly valued. Thank you for your words of encouragement, and I will continue to be mayor as you encourage me to continue," he said in his address.
Fouts has denied that he's the subject of the recordings, and has blamed his political adversaries for what he calls phony tapes.
"I don't care how many tapes Mark Hackel or whomever makes," Fouts has said. "I will not be deterred and I will overcome."
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Fouts have been in a battle over alleged illegal dumping at Freedom Hill. Hackel has said he has nothing to do with the recordings.