Lawyer upset over missing evidence in lawsuit against Ficano and Wayne County

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Critical evidence is missing from a case against Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, according to a lawyer who filed suit against the county and its CEO. 

"I've not been given the full picture, and suddenly things don't exist," said Bloomfield Hills lawyer Deborah Gordon, who represents former appointee James Wallace.

Last year, Wallace filed a complaint saying he was terminated after refusing to do political work on county time.

The county denies that charge.

In his complaint, Wallace says that he and a team of appointees were required to do campaign work while county taxpayers were paying them.  Gordon subpoenad e-mails from appointees, hoping to bolster her client's case. But just last month, she was told that e-mails from the months of September, October and November 2010 can't be located.

"The key period for which we need e-mail communication about political activity…is somehow missing," Gordon said.

Ficano was last up for re-election in November 2010.

"The most political activity would be going on between August and November, presumably, and that's what we want to get," Gordon said.

"Of course I think it's a little too convenient. I suppose anything's possible, but it's hard to imagine how it is that these became corrupted."

Gordon says she hasn't been told why the e-mails are now missing, but there's a good chance she'll be asking Ficano about them tomorrow. That's when he's due for a three-hour deposition as part of this case. Ficano fought to avoid the deposition, but a judge overruled him.

A spokeswoman for Ficano said the county declined to comment on pending litigation.

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