Sheriff Napoleon wants to lead Detroit but can’t run own department

Politics are never transparent in Detroit.

Take Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, who told supporters he plans to run for mayor of Detroit but tells everyone else he’s still uncertain.

Earlier this week, the Democrat complained that his budget is too small and so is the $300 million jail that is under construction.

In other words, Napoleon wants to spend more tax dollars in a county that is shedding jobs, revenue and residents. He even asked for a tax increase this year but didn’t get it past county commissioners.

Turns out, Napoleon’s $105 million budget isn’t as bare bones as he suggests.

Napoleon’s top heavy department has 41 appointees – 16 of whom receive at least $100,000 a year, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

“He needs to cut from the top,” Commissioner Ilona Varga, D-Lincoln Park, said this week.

Haven’t we heard this before? Too many suits, not enough workers.

If he thinks Wayne County is a struggle, can you imagine him in Detroit, which is nearly broke and soon may find itself filing for bankruptcy? In a city where people are dying because police can’t respond. Where firefighters don’t have enough equipment or staff? Where street lights are a luxury?

When Napoleon decides to come out and declare his candidacy, he has a lot of explaining to do.

As Detroiter Keith Henderson said, “Voting for anybody is like shooting craps.”

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.