Wayne County Executive Ficano's future is uncertain

Wayne County CIO faces federal charges, 6 appointees sue executive

Published On: Feb 17 2012 08:12:32 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 18 2012 02:21:33 AM EST
DETROIT -

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano has had a tough week.

Federal charges were announced against the county's chief financial officer and six of Ficano's appointees filed a lawsuit against him, claiming he is messing with their promised severance deals.

On Friday night, Local 4 learned internal polling has been conducted and the results show if Ficano were up for re-election right now he would be in a vulnerable position.

Those closest to the county executive say he absolutely has no plans to resign from the position even though Wayne County commissioners this week said he needs to.

If only a fraction of what the FBI is charging one of Ficano's top appointees, CIO Tahir Kazmi, with is true, it is nothing short of breathtaking.

Kazmi is accused of shaking down county contractors for about $90,000 to be spent on luxury trips. According to the FBI, Kazmi told a contractor to sign over 49 percent of his business to Kazmi's brother-in-law. This apparently happened right under Ficano's nose.

"If these allegations are true, it is outrageous," Ficano said. "And we should hold these two individuals accountable if the allegations are true."

Add this to the ongoing severance scandal in which top aide Turkia Mullin left her position with a $200,000 severance payout to take a job at Detroit Metro Airport and it is no surprise that Ficano is not doing well in the polls.

Local 4 learned the poll numbers show Ficano is a target as several high-profile Wayne County Democrats consider challenging him when his term is up in two years.

A consultant who does a significant amount of work in Wayne County told Local 4 there is a 100 percent chance Ficano will face a challenger in the Democratic primary.

"It's not a question of if, but who and how many?" the consultant said. He asked to remain anonymous because of his work in the county.