Ficano opens State of County speech with apology for Wayne County scandal

Ficano delivers State of the County speech amid FBI probe

Published On: Feb 29 2012 09:32:06 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 29 2012 10:50:19 PM EST

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano spent the first couple minutes of his State of the County address delivering an apology.

"And I agree with those who have said, 'He should have done better,'" he said.

He was apologizing for the past several months of scandal and the federal probe of how business is done at the highest ranks of Wayne County government.

"Some people in whom I placed great trust did not serve me very well this past year," said Ficano.

The county executive is under fire for allowing sweetheart severance deals for appointees. He also faces accusations his top people have been shaking down donors and contractors for money and gifts.

After the mea culpa, Ficano spent his remaining 30 minutes detailing what his plans are for the future and what he sees as accomplishments of the past year.

Wayne County Board of Commissioners Chairman Gary Woronchak said while he found Ficano’s speech to be sincere, “turning public opinion around with one speech after several months of what’s come out is not going to happen”.

Commissioner Laura Cox found the apology to be lacking.

"The apology was a little too late for months no he’s been misleading the people and the commission," Cox said.

Just this month, now former Wayne County Chief Information Officer Tahir Kazmi was federally charged with bilking county contractors for tens of thousand of dollars in cash, luxury vacations and even forcing a contractor to turn over 49 percent of their business to Kazmi's relative

The FBI probe of the county continues.