Warren Mayor Jim Fouts continues to deny that he made disparaging remarks about people with disabilities, African Americans and women, claiming he was set up.
But city, state and federal officials aren’t buying it, and they’re calling for his resignation after Motor City Muckraker released new recordings of the Democratic mayor calling black people “chimps” and women “old hags.”
In a joint press release this morning, officials who represent the city of Warren said there’s no doubt that Fouts made the comments and that he needs to resign. The release is from U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, State Sen. Steve Bieda, State Rep. Henry Yanez, State Rep. John Chirkun, State Rep. Patrick Green, Macomb County Commissioner Andrey Duzyj, Macomb County Commissioner Veronica Klinefelt and and Macomb County Commission Marv Sauge.
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“We have listened to the audio tapes with the voice we recognize of Mayor Jim Fouts,” the officials said. “These comments are hateful. They are racist and disparaging of women. The leader of our State’s third largest city should be a role model for how we treat each other and anyone that harbors these feelings and expresses them is not fit to lead. We believe that these comments, and the previous comments about people with disabilities, do not represent the people of the City of Warren. Therefore, we believe that it would be best for the people of Warren for Mayor Fouts to resign, and we call on him to do so.
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“It would have been our preference that the individuals making these audio recordings would have immediately turned them over to the proper authorities for investigation so they would have been handled in an appropriate manner and reduced the discussion about the motivation for the recording and the circumstances of the release.”
Mayor Mike Duggan also said Fouts should resign if the recordings are authentic.
“If Mayor Fouts said those disgusting things, he has to go,” Duggan said. “The tapes are sickening. It’s hard to believe anybody could say those things.”
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Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard also called for Fouts to resign.
“I just listened to the recordings of Mayor Fouts. While I am not a member of the Warren community, I am a member of the human community. You need to go,” Bouchard wrote on Facebook.
Civil rights leaders also are calling on Fouts to resign.
Motor City Muckraker is offering to pay for Fouts to meet with a voice analyst or take a polygraph test to prove he is not the voice behind the recordings. Fouts has declined similar requests, and the Warren City Council rejected a proposal to urge the mayor to have his voice analyzed by an expert.
Fouts posted this on Facebook today:
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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.