Warren whistleblower accuses city of illegal activity
WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - He blew the whistle on his boss while working for the city of Warren, but claims he paid the price when he questioned what he believed was illegal activity.
Meet Ken Bouchard. He worked for the city of Warren coordinating tax delinquent property so the city could sell them in foreclosure.
"I liked the job, I had a nice office, I worked with some very good people," he said.
But In 2013, Bouchard discovered that the city was allegedly allowing "favored" buyers to use federal money, under the city's control, to tear down some of these purchased properties.
FOX 2: "Is that illegal?"
"In the end it's not going to matter," said Jennifer Lord, Bouchard's attorney. "Under the whistleblower protection law."
But that's not the problem. On September 24, 2013 Bouchard informed the Warren City Council that he thought the city was doing some illegal activity. Three days after the council meeting, In a secretly recorded conversation between Bouchard and his boss, Ron Wuerth, the boss wasn't happy that Bouchard went to counsel before informing him and the mayor.
This secret recording is legal under Michigan law.
FOX 2: "Wouldn't it be better for Mr. Bouchard to go to his boss or maybe even the mayor before going to the public?"
"He did," Lord said. "He sent an email before he went public. (Mayor Jim) Fouts didn't read it. He did everything right here."
The city of Warren will not comment pending litigation but in court filings the city says they did nothing wrong and that Bouchard quit his job."
The judge will decide if he has a case, later this month.
FOX 2: "Do you think the city is doing more illegal activity that you know about?"
"I really don't want to comment on that," Bouchard said. "I think there is enough information here to take a look at and I'll let the professionals handle those matters."