Wayne County Sheriff under fire for funding appointees through college contract

(WXYZ) - The Wayne County Commission approved a security contract for the Wayne County Community College District – but only after some heated debate that questioned whether the deal was just another way for the Sheriff to fund his appointees.

The contract is between the Wayne County Community College District and the Wayne County Sheriff's office.  Sheriff Benny Napoleon will provide two deputies and a sergeant on the campus to help with security and community outreach.  But several commissioners wanted to know why three appointees were also included in the $700,000 contract.  Two of those appointees currently work for Napoleon – the other one is the Mayor of Inkster. 

Here's a breakdown of the salaries (not including fringe benefits):

Police Sergeant                 63,259.00            

Police Officer                     28,284.00          

Police Officer                     53,896.00            

Dept. Exec 1                       69,300.00            

Dept. Exec 7                       89,100.00     (partially funded by WCCCD contract & WCSO)       

Contract –Hilliard Hampton 49,392                                  

State tax dollars will fund those positions but some commissioners want to know why the deputies aren't working in the jail instead to reduce the county's overtime bill.

"It's another way for the sheriff to get more appointees and take away from the bottom line of balancing his budget… It's a back door way of getting appointees and writing them into a contract and basically having the community college which gets funded by state tax dollars, fund his political appointees," said Commissioner Shannon Price (R- Canton).

Despite questions about what those appointees will actually do on campus, many commissioners said they were worried that if they didn't approve the contract today – security would suffer for the students.  They voted for the contract, 10-2.

"Making sure our students and our residents attend the college are safe is very important to me.  So it's a contract between the college and the sheriff's department, there's no county money going into this – so it's a good clean contract, I'm very happy that it passed," said Wayne County Commission Vice-Chair Alisha Bell (D- Detroit).

Also Thursday, commissioners said the Sheriff's department will be out of money at the end of this month.  That means starting July 1, 2013; they will be operating entirely with deficit spending.  Talks are still under way for the Sheriff Napoleon's deficit elimination plan.



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