Wayne County commissioner expected to ask for Robert Ficano's resignation

Sources say Laura Cox will make request Thursday

Published On: Feb 16 2012 12:10:40 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 16 2012 06:17:59 PM EST
DETROIT -

Despite a Wayne County commissioner asking for his resignation Thursday, executive Robert Ficano said he's not leaving his post.

Laura Cox made the request.

"When do we start demanding accountability? Why do we have to settle? Why must the 1.8 million citizens of Wayne County have to put with this?" Cox said. "On a more personal level, why does a duly elected commissioner have to put up with the corruption, incompetence and pettiness of the Ficano administration?"

READ: Full statement from Cox

She is the only Republican on the commission and has publicly criticized Ficano's leadership.

Commissioner Bernard Parker said he shares Cox's view, but others say it's too soon to ask Ficano to quit.

"I think a person is innocent until proven guilty," said Commissioner Joan Gebhardt.

Commission Chair Gary Woronchak said he wants to wait for federal investigators to complete their work. 

“The easy thing to do politically would be to call for Bob Ficano’s head, ask for him to step down. That’s not what I intend to do just yet," Woronchak said.

Ficano has responded by issuing the following statement: “I am not resigning, and there have been no allegations of wrongdoing made against me. My administration has been cooperative with the federal authorities. The actions taken by one commissioner today are simply a partisan attack and political posturing in an election year.”

Earlier Thursday morning, the county confirmed that its director of personnel and human resources, Georgetta Kelly, had announced her resignation.

And Kelly’s resignation comes one day after two other Wayne County executive administration employees were federally charged with extortion, bribery and obstruction of justice.

Ficano has been under fire since the FBI began looking into county government last fall. An investigation was launched after a $200,000 severance deal was approved for the county’s then outgoing development director, Turkia Mullin.

Mullin was given the deal when she left her position with the county to become CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority.

Mullin later agreed to repay it and gave the county a check for the after-tax amount of $135,900. Mullin has since been fired from her position with the airport authority.