Fouts expects more recordings to be released
Warren — Mayor Jim Fouts said he is expecting more controversial recordings to surface but plans to continue to show up for work despite death threats and his colleagues asking him to step down.
Fouts, who has not returned repeated calls from The Detroit News, took to Facebook again Thursday to blame Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel for the release of what he called “manufactured” tapes with a voice that sounds like him demeaning black people, older women and disabled people.
“I've been told this will not end until my death (I have recently had death threats) or resignation,” Fouts wrote. “Preferably the first one. If they can make 2 tapes they can make dozens.”
The 74-year-old mayor has repeatedly denied he is the person making crude comments about African-Americans and older women in recordings released earlier this week that have prompted calls for his resignation.
Fouts wrote he is working with people who are investigating the matter and praised his supporters.
“Bottom line is that everyone said that my actions as mayor and as a councilman speak louder than these nasty phony tapes,” Fouts wrote. “Bottom line is my actions as Mayor speak louder than anything they will try to do to me. People know me by my actions and personal encounters that I could not do these things.”
Hackel acknowledged he released some initial recordings to the media in December.
However, he denies any involvement with clips that were published Monday on the Motor City Muckraker.
Meanwhile, the Warren Area Democrats released a statement Thursday denouncing the statements that were made on the audio clips calling them “racist” and “misogynistic.”
“These recordings, coupled with earlier recordings that were hateful toward individuals with disabilities, contain statements that do not reflect the values of our club, our city, or our party,” the statement said. “Our organization condemns both the words and the individual responsible for their content.”
Several officials have called for Fouts to resign including Warren Treasurer Lorie Barnwell and Assistant Council Secretary Keith Sadowski.
Sadowski said there’s been “buzz” around city hall over the alleged Fouts comments.
“I feel that if this air of controversy continues, it will paint Warren in a poor light,” Sadowski said in a statement.
He later told The News it will be hard for the city to move forward under Fouts’ leadership.
“When you talk about regional cooperation, you’re the third largest city in the state of Michigan and your three county leaders want nothing to do with you,” Sadowski said. “How do you get anything done?”