Retired Wayne Co. treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz dies
Detroit — Former Wayne County treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz has died, officials said Wednesday. He was 90.
"Today, I was saddened to hear of the passing of former Wayne County Treasurer Raymond J. Wojtowicz," said Eric Sabree, the county's current treasurer, in a statement. "In 2011, (he) gave me the opportunity to work under his leadership in the Treasurer’s Office. My condolences and prayers go out to (his entire) family during this difficult time."
During his lengthy tenure, the Hamtramck native earned praise for working with distressed homeowners facing tax foreclosure, but also faced criticism because his office oversaw the foreclosure of more than 100,000 properties in a decade, The Detroit News reported.
Alisha Bell, chair of the Wayne County Commission, described Wojtowicz as "dedicated" to his job.
"He was a dedicated fiscal steward, overseeing billions of county tax dollars during his long run as Wayne County Treasurer," Bell said in an emailed statement. "He was a steady and stabilizing hand, helping guide Wayne County through some very tough financial times during his tenure."
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans also commented on the retired official's passing.
"I am saddened to hear of the passing of former Wayne County Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz who admirably served our 43 communities for nearly 40 years, including his beloved hometown of Hamtramck," Evans tweeted. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wojtowicz family at this difficult time.”
When seeking re-election in 2008, Wojtowicz touted his experience in The News, including working with 20 nonprofits to give assistance to people unable to pay their property taxes.
"Every day, there are issues that come up where people need assistance," he told the publication at the time. "I enjoy doing (the job) for the benefit for all of the people in Wayne County."
Wojtowicz retired as county treasurer Dec. 1, 2015, after nearly 40 years in office. He was 86 at the time. A Democrat, he was last elected county treasurer in 2012.
He previously served as mayor of Hamtramck.
A graduate of St. Ladislaus High School and Great Lakes College, Wojtowicz also served as a Wayne County Community College trustee. He was a married father of five children and a grandfather, according to Detroit News archives.