DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Wayne County severance scandal is prompting protestors to call for Robert Ficano to step down.
The protestors who gathered today outside Wayne County headquarters say the county commissioners who are investigating the severance scandal just have too many close ties to Robert Ficano. They want the attorney general to step in and investigate.
“We’re fed up with this corruption,” said Detroit resident Sandra Hines. Hines says she organized this Coalition Against Corruption in Wayne County Government because she wants County Executive Robert Ficano to step down. The Action News Investigators first told you how Ficano’s Economic Development chief, Turkia Mullin, got a $200,000 payout when she voluntarily quit her job to become CEO of Metro Airport, where she’s now making $250,000 a year.
“We can’t have them using our money like that, when we don’t even have lights in Highland Park,” said Hines.
Even though the Wayne County Commissioners are investigating Mullin’s severance, and the compensation packages for Ficano’s other appointees… Hines says she wants Attorney General Bill Schuette to conduct an independent investigation.
“We do not feel that the Wayne County Commissioners can do it because most of them have received funds, campaign funds from Mr. Ficano. And we don’t want more corruption, them letting him off the hook because gave them money for their campaigns,” said Hines.
In fact, Ficano’s Political Action Committee fund has given more than $75,000 to the campaigns of the current Wayne County Commissioners since 2008.
Hines says her group doesn’t think Ficano’s punishment of two of his top appointees involved in Mullin’s pricey parting gift is enough..
On Friday Ficano suspended Deputy County Executive Azzam Elder and Director of Corporation Counsel Mariann Talon for 30 days without pay. Hines wants them fired – along with another appointee Michael Grundy. Grundy is accused of being one of the people who allegedly trying to pressure State Rep. John Olumba into withdrawing his request for an Attorney General investigation.
“The people are not going to stop, we’re not going to give up on putting in the right people, if we got to throw these people out, then we need them to step down. They need to step out of the way and let honest people come forward,” said Hines.
The Attorney General has not started an investigation yet. They are waiting to see if another prosecutor in Michigan wants to take up the case first, which they say is the protocol.
But remember, as we first reported on Friday, the FBI is now involved in this – so someone is looking into Wayne County to see if laws were broken.
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