Wayne County elected officials to commission chairman: Ficano must lead or resign

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Some of Wayne County's top elected officials met with the head of the Wayne County Commission today, urging him to ask County Executive Robert Ficano to "fill a leadership void" or resign.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Register of Deeds Bernard Youngblood, Treasurer Ray Wojtowicz and representatives of Clerk Cathy Garret's and Sheriff Benny Napoleon's offices met with Commission Chairman Gary Woronchak this morning, 7 Action News has learned.  They will make a public statement in the days to come, said the source.

"The leadership void has got to be filled, and filled quickly," said a source with knowledge of the meeting.

"The county is at a very pivotal point financially." 

At the meeting, Woronchak was presented a list of 11 points compiled by the officials outlining concerns about county operations. 

Chief among them, said the source, was that the officials felt they were being "painted with the same brush" as Ficano's administration.  Since 7 Action News exposed Turkia Mullin's $200,000 severance payment, three of his former top aides have been indicted or criminally charged and a slew of questionable deals have come to light.

"Let's not have one person take everyone else down," said the source.

With the county facing a major deficit and state takeover appearing more possible by the day, officials are also complaining that Ficano is overreaching the county charter by meddling in their budgets.

"Oversight needs to step in," said the officials with knowledge of the meeting.

Commissioner Woronchak tells us that the meeting focused mainly on the concerns that the elected officials have about operational issues within the county, and budget questions.  Woronchak says it was absolutely not an attempt by a group of people to strategize on how to get Ficano out of office.

A spokeswoman for Robert Ficano said she was not aware of the meeting.

A source with knowledge of the meeting tells 7 Action News that the elected officials will make a public statement in the next week or two, outlining their concerns about how the county is being run.

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In response to what was said at Monday's closed-door meeting Ficano said he believes leaders are really concerned about their budgets and deficit elimination plans.

"We've had success. We just passed a deficit elimination plan," Ficano said in response to whether he should resign.

"I know that a lot of them are nervous because they are facing deficit elimination plans Tuesday, so we are going to do what's necessary," Ficano said.

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