Ficano considers teaching at WCCCD

Joel Kurth
The Detroit News

Detroit — Professor Bob Ficano?

Wayne County Community College District officials say that’s got a nice ring to it, but refuse to say whether the outgoing Wayne County executive will become a part-time faculty member next year.

“I cannot confirm nor deny Mr. Ficano’s teaching position at WCCCD,” said Tina Bassett, a spokeswoman for the community college.

“I can say that any higher ed institution would be pleased to have him as he brings much knowledge and experience with 30 years of public service in top elected positions, I know our students would be interested in what he has to say.”

She issued the statement after The Detroit News inquired about persistent talk in Wayne County that the scandal-scarred executive will teach at least one political science class as a lecturer starting in January. Two county officials told The News on Tuesday that Ficano has told others he’s interested in the position, but is still trying to get a better job.

He has a law degree and community college classes typically pay lecturers less than $3,000 per class.

Charles Paddock, chairman of the college’s board of trustees, said Ficano “would bring some interesting perspective.”

“I’ve heard he’s coming. I don’t know it for a fact,” said Paddock, who also is a sheriff’s department official.

“The board doesn’t get involved in hiring of instructors, but I wouldn’t object to it at all.”

A county spokesman, Ryan Bridges, deferred comment to Ficano. The three-term executive, who lost re-election in August, did not return messages seeking comment.

Ficano is leaving amid numerous controversies, including an ongoing federal corruption probe that has resulted in convictions of four former aides and a contractor. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade told The News last week the investigation is winding down and prosecutors will announce soon whether more will be charged.

Three former aides also face charges stemming from cost overruns at a downtown jail project.

“As long as he’s not teaching ethics, I guess it’s OK,” said former county commissioner Bernard Parker, D-Detroit.

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