Wayne County Executive, Robert Ficano is still on the hot seat

Embattled County Executive says he'll have to work to regain the trust of voters

By Paula Tutman - Reporter
Headline Goes Here Courtesy, Wayne County Executive Official Website

DETROIT, Mich - The Parade Company.

It's an annual tradition.  Movers and shakers show up at The Parade Company for the honor of flipping pancakes, reveling in their service to the community and being seen.  But at the Parade Company 12th Annual VIP Pancake Breakfast, Wayne County Executive, Robert Ficano was busy defending his actions in the recent scandal that has plagued his administration.

This stems from the golden parachute deal with Turkia Mullin who left the county municipal job as Wayne County Development Authority Director with a $200-thousand dollar severance package.

Ficano says mistakes were made on his watch and his aim is to correct them and regain the trust of voters.  But when asked how a hefty pay-out could slip beneath his radar, he simply said he's already apologized and has moved on to righting the wrongs of staffers.

While he says the buck stops with him, he's already started cleaning house at the top with trusted staffers but the resignations and firings also stop at him.

When asked if his feet should be held to the fire, as well, he simply told Local 4 that he knows mistakes have been made and he's trying to fix them.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano announced Thursday the resignation of his deputy chief and three new faces he was bringing in.

At a news conference, Ficano said he had accepted the resignation of Azzam Elder, who had been serving a 30-day suspension in connection with a severance scandal. He will be replaced by former U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Collins. The county has been under public and federal scrutiny since a severance scandal broke involving the county's former economic development head, Turkia Mullin. Mullin voluntarily left her job with the county to become CEO of Detroit Metropolitan Airport, but was given a $200,000 severance package. She and Ficano were criticized about the amount of the payment. Last month, she repaid the after-tax amount of $135,900.

Ficano has said protocols weren't followed in the severance deal. He suspended two officials involved in the deal and fired a contract worker. The FBI is investigating, too. Ficano also announced former Ford employee Ray Byers would be the county's new director of economic development and Zenna Elhasan would be the new director of corporation council.

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