Election officials investigate how Warren Mayor Fouts's State of City speech was used to fundraise

Posted at 11:33 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 23:33:17-05

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts continues taking heat for leaked recordings that sound like him degrading mentally and physically challenged people. 

Mayor Fouts strongly denies they are him on social media including messages he posted to 7 Action News Anchor Stephen Clark today.

That message reads as follows:

Stephen Clark I have an open door policy at my office and the same goes for my phone too. I have met with and returned many calls from friend and foe alike.

I'm happy to explain my position to those in my city. However, so far the media is only interested in the sensational aspect. They have done little if any reporting on the motive behind Mark Hackel's so-called 3AM anonymous person who gave him this phony doctored tape.

He released this nasty tape just 12 hours or so after I filed a complaint with the Attorney General regarding the cover-up of the illegal dumping at the Freedom Hill landfill. M

ark was successful with deflecting this and thus you are obsessed with the tapes and not with a cover-up involving the potential pollution of the Red Run and a cozy relationship with the excavator.

Why doesn't the media do it's job and investigate the motive behind the tapes and where they came from? Would you answer your door at 3AM to an unknown person?

I was <a> teacher in WCS for over 30 years and I worked with students with various needs, including special needs students. I tutored a special needs student and taught him how to read. I devoted my life to public service helping ALL people!

I am beyond disgusted with these nasty tapes and the fact that someone would use them for political purposes.

Furthermore, I have no explaining to do, my statement early on speaks for itself.

For the final time I have never used those words and never would. I maintain these are altered tapes.

How many times do I have to say this? The media will not accept my response. They will not accept it.

I am sorry you cannot accept this. This is the last statement I will make to the media on these disgusting phony tapes.

My record speaks for itself.

7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner tonight outlines how state elections officials are investigating how Mayor Fouts's State of the City speech was turned into a fundraiser for a Political Action Committee tied to the Mayor. 

The complaint to the state was made by Leon Drolet of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance.  It has been under investigation for several months.

The PAC made $20,510 at the event. 

Tickets were sold for $40 and $50 to sit closer to the Mayor.  Promotions for ticket sales were put into Warren City water bills the month before the speech. 

Drolet also says several city employees worked on the taxpayers dime to produce the speech.

At the center of the investigation is one of Fouts' appointees who runs the Warren City Sanitation Department, Gus Ghanam. 

A statement from an attorney for Ghanam is posted below. 

Response to Complaint Against Gust Ghanam by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

Ghanam and Mayor Fouts did not respond to 7 Investigator Kiertzner's request to discuss the state investigation.