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Warren Mayor Jim Fouts refuses to resign over audiotapes, despite Democrats requests

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts
City of Warren
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts says he won't step down, despite requests from Democrats.

“I will not resign,” says Warren Mayor Jim Fouts on Facebook this morning, just an hour after several Democrats – including Congressman Sander Levin, D-MI, – called on Fouts to quit over racist, sexist audio tapes that are allegedly of Fouts.

Here's his Facebook post:

Here’s the full statement from Congressman Levin, several statehouse Democrats, and some Warren County commissioners:

"We have listened to the audio tapes with the voice we recognize of Mayor Jim Fouts. 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. “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.”

More tapes were released yesterday on the Motorcity Muckracker, which purportedly show Fouts using the n-word, referring to black people as “chimps,” and making sexist, vulgar comments about women.

Last night, a former political advisor of Fouts’ told the Detroit Free Press that he heard Fouts use the n-word several times, and saw him “dance around like he was a monkey” when talking about black voters.

But Fouts has repeatedly denied these accusations, claiming the tapes aren’t of him, and are a smear campaign from his political rival, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.

Last month, Hackel released audiotapeshe claimed were of Mayor Fouts making cruel remarks about disabled people. Fouts denied it. 

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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