February 29, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Ficano weighs in on push for Kilpatrick to resign

EAST LANSING -- Detroit's embattled Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick should resist calls for him to resign, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said earlier today.

"Quite frankly, he can't take his eye off the ball because we all have too much to lose if he does," Ficano said.

However, he said the situation could change if Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy decides to charge the mayor with perjury as a result of his ongoing text message scandal.

"If she decides to charge him, it might change the whole circumstance," Ficano said during taping of the PBS television show "Off the Record."

Ficano noted that the business community has not publicly called for the mayor to step down and has "been enthused about the progress they have seen in Detroit."

"He's had a reservoir (of good will) that he is now drawing on," Ficano said. "Is he drawing out all his political capital? He probably is."

Later in the day Ficano issued a statement to clarify his earlier remarks.

"The mayor has said he will not resign," Ficano wrote. "That's his decision.

"As an attorney and former sheriff of Wayne County, I have great respect for our laws and the judicial process. Given the great stakes for this region, this process must proceed fairly, openly and expeditiously."

You can reach Mark Hornbeck at (313) 222-2470 or mhornbeck@detnews.com">mhornbeck@detnews.com.