A third video bashing Warren Mayor Jim Fouts for his supposed romantic relationship with his secretary has been posted online, prompting him to call it the work of “municipal, political terrorists.”
In it, Fouts is shown speaking at public meetings, lauding his executive assistant’s work. It also alleges the mayor has taken her to events at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit, holiday parties and fancy restaurants around Metro Detroit, all with the Hall & Oates song “Rich Girl” as the soundtrack.
“The bottom line is (these attacks) have been going on for years, even when I was a councilman,” Fouts said Friday. “Over the years, they’ve ratcheted it up and attacked me for my looks, my age — anything on a personal level.
“All this revolves around character assassination. This is municipal, political terrorism at its highest level.”
The online video brouhaha began last week when a video showing Fouts holding hands with a woman identified in the video as his secretary, Amanda Mika, 28, during a 2012 Chicago trip was posted on the Internet.
It also showed the mayor, 71, and the young woman checking into the Drake Hotel, having dinner and shopping. Both are single, according to public records.
Captions in the first video also criticized Fouts for giving Mika a substantial pay raise at a time when other city employees have been forced to take cuts.
It was time-stamped Nov. 16, 2012, and reportedly was recorded by a private investigator. Websites don’t identify the investigator or who hired him.
He said Friday the question people should be asking is who made and posted the videos, which can be found on YouTube.com.
“People should be wondering who is following and secretly videotaping me on a private trip when you’ve done nothing wrong,” he said. “They should be wondering why did they wait more than a year to show it. How would anybody else like it?”
Fouts has said on the record he likes younger women, the video’s captions say. A 2011 lawsuit filed against the city of Warren seeking to get clarification of Fouts’ age referenced a May 27, 2009, Washington Post article in which the mayor stated he doesn’t give out his age, “because he tends to date younger women.”
Fouts, who was first elected Warren’s mayor in 2007, ripped the video as “mean-spirited and scurrilous.”
He also defended the trip and Mika’s pay hike. The trip was paid out of his own pocket, he said. “What I do in my own time is my business,” Fouts said Friday. “Taxpayer money has never been misused.”
Mika and another mayoral appointee were given raises because they were given additional responsibilities after the city’s economic development director took a sick leave, the mayor said. Mika earned about $50,000 a year before the $5,000 raise, according to city documents.
The fuss even prompted Warren’s mayor pro tem, Scott Stevens, to propose toughening up the city’s code of ethics for municipal employees and mayoral appointees to avoid future lawsuits. The council voted 4-3 not to amend the policy at its meeting Tuesday.
Fouts said he remains steadfast.
“The bottom line is (these videos) are an absurd distraction,” Fouts said. “And I’m going to go on, despite all of these personal attacks.”
Detroit News Staff Writer Ursula Watson contributed.