Wayne County Executive Ficano, Prosecutor Worthy in war of words over proposed department cuts

Wayne County prosecutor wants executive to stop proposed cuts, says her department has already made cuts; she will sue if she needs to

Published On: Jul 03 2012 05:21:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 03 2012 05:37:28 PM EDT
DETROIT -

A war of words is brewing between Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

The fight started when Ficano proposed county-wide cuts. Worthy responded with a lawsuit threat.

Ficano's two-year budget plan calls for the Wayne County department heads to slash their budgets by 20 percent. Worthy is telling Ficano to put the brakes on the plan.

The county executive's cutting proposal is an effort to help balance a budget exceeding $2 billion. Like so many Michigan counties, Wayne County has been hit especially hard by declining property values. It has lost millions of dollars in property taxes in the past couple of years.

Ficano's plan isn't popular among department heads such as Prosecutor Worthy who says her department has balanced its budget and has already absorbed cuts.

"If I have to sue to run this office properly, I will do so, just as the former Sheriff and the court have," Worthy said. "I guess being a team player does not matter to the county executive."

However, Ficano believes his proposal will help stop the bleeding.

"He can talk to me about cuts when he recoups the millions of dollars in severances, fringes and perks that he has given his staff," Worthy said.

The budget still needs to be approved by Wayne County commissioners.