WARREN, Mich. - On the recording, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is heard explaining his anger.
Fouts is upset over negative items being put on his Wikipedia page. A Warren appointee opted to record a conversation about it with Fouts. That's not a crime.
"If I saw him in the (expletive) street and had a baseball bat I would beat the (expletive) down to the (expletive) ground," Fouts is recorded saying. "It would take me just a little bit to find a (expletive) gun and blow his (expletive) head off. That's how pissed off I am."
Fouts was referring to two former city employees who he blames for his woes online. It was the frequency of the threats that, sources say, motivated the appointee to record the calls and turn them over to the Michigan State Police.
"I have a right to mention him because that (expletive) causes me problems every (expletive) day," Fouts says on the recording. "Every (expletive) day. I'm (expletive) sick of him."
The mayor, for his part, declined an on-camera interview with Local 4. However, he did give a statement which, in part, reads:
"I have not violated any laws and I am affronted by any insinuations that I have violated any laws."
Read: Fouts' full statement
News of the recordings leaked out after the state police called the Warren Police Department earlier this week to alert them about the investigation. Since that time, the recordings are all anyone in an elected position around here can talk about.
Warren City Council President and Mayor Pro-Tem Scott Stevens said he has heard Fouts make threats in the past. He said the recordings don't surprise him.
"Too often lately these things have been pooh-poohed and put aside and some terrible consequences have come out of things," Stevens said. "At minimum it is worthy of an investigation."
Mayor Fouts said he finds this a violation of privacy and utterly outrageous. He says he has called MSP and will talk to them.
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