Ficano: ‘My record and my good name have been cleared’

The Detroit News

The investigation and corruption allegations that dogged former Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano’s administration for years, contributing to his re-election loss in the August primary, ended Monday and Ficano found himself facing no charges.

“Today, the U.S. Attorney's office made a most welcome announcement, one that has been three and a half long years in the coming, years that have terribly affected me, my family and our community,” Ficano said in an email to The News. “I have always had faith in the justice system. That's why I have defended it and spent my entire career upholding the law, as an attorney, sheriff and Wayne County Executive.

“Today, my record and my good name have been cleared and I move on with confidence and renewed faith.

“Those who prejudged and sensationalized the situation and the people involved in it have extracted a heavy price and ruined the reputation of many decent and honest citizens. I hope there is a lesson in this for them.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday it completed its corruption investigation of Wayne County’s government and would not seek additional charges. The government's decision now lifts a cloud of suspicion surrounding Ficano, whose public career ended last fall amid speculation that he was involved in public corruption.

"I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so three years ago. Mr. Ficano did nothing wrong," Ficano's defense lawyer, Steve Fishman, said Monday. "The government looked into every possible angle and correctly decided there was nothing there."

The three-year probe resulted in the convictions of five other individuals, including Wayne County’s chief information officer and an assistant Wayne County executive who served as the director of HealthChoice of Michigan.

The Wayne County investigation was focused on fundraising and ties between contractors and staffers.

The ongoing FBI probe also followed a years-long investigation of Detroit City Hall that netted 38 convictions and sent former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to prison for 28 years.