Warren mayor sues city council, alleges violation of charter when adopting budget

‘The buck stops with me,’ Jim Fouts says

The people elected to top leadership positions in Warren are not getting along. Mayor Jim Fouts is now suing the City Council after they made a move toward suing him.

WARREN, Mich. – The ongoing duel between Warren Mayor Jim Fouts and city council continues with another lawsuit.

Fouts alleges council members violated the city’s charter when it adopted the budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

“The buck stops with me and I need to know what’s going on before they go to various department heads or employees,” Fouts said.

Warren City Council President Patrick Green said there’s a reason why.

“The mayor has been operating for nine months now. Illegally. I’ll use that word again illegally. Not using the city council adopted appropriation and he can’t do that and we can’t wait any longer,” Green said.

Councilmembers are now conducting an audit of the city’s Downtown Development Authority. Although Fouts denies any wrongdoing, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Another issue is: Who is the actual city attorney?

“Right now we pay the city attorney a good salary and we pay Plunkett Cooney to salary and which they basically the council listens to,” Fouts said.

But again, the city council member says there’s a reason why.

“They’ve stated that they’re adversarial. And you can’t have an attorney-client relationship where the attorney is adversarial to their client,” said Green.

Either way, Mayor Fouts says that’s another charter violation.

“There’s nowhere in the charter anywhere where council appoint outside law firm and if they want to appoints a law firm, they would have to go through the purchasing ordinance and get the approval by the city attorney who they refused to recognize,” Fouts said.

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About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.