Detroit — A retired Wayne County Sheriff's deputy has withdrawn his proposal to provide security and driving services to Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.
A $55,000 contract for Star Fighters LLC was set for a county commission vote Thursday but the corporation's creator, Fred Berry, pulled back the proposal Wednesday.
He was to provide security and work for the Department of Children and Family Services Alternative Work Force program. The program is for people convicted of crimes to provide community service and avoid jail time.
Berry also was to act as Ficano's driver an estimated two or three times a month, filing in for the county executive's other two drivers when needed. It was the driving section of the contract that generated media attention amid the county's financial problems.
"The driver portion got so blown out of control," he said. "If I would have known the driver portion was going to be such a big deal, I would have said to hell with it," Berry said.
Berry started working for the Wayne County Sheriff's Office in 1978. He moved to the executive staff in 2003 after Ficano became county executive. He retired in 2011 and receives $105,000 a year through his pension.
Berry said the timing of the planned vote on the proposal was poor, considering the recent layoff of 26 people in the Wayne County Prosecutor's office.
"I feel bad the people got laid off in the prosecutor's office and the prosecutor is over budget." Berry said. "I know that shouldn't have anything to do with it, but (the budget) affects everything."
He said he hopes to do further work for the county, citing his experience as an investigator and in Homeland Security. Any future proposals, he said, wouldn't include chauffeuring.