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Ficano: "I won't walk away" from Wayne County

(Robert Ficano/Wayne County)

Robert Ficano says he won’t let doubts about corruption in county government distract him from his job.

The Wayne County Executive delivered his tenth annual State of the County address Wednesday night.

Ficano has been dogged by corruption scandals for months. He didn’t specifically mention the FBI probe into huge severance payouts made to some of his top appointees, and two former top aides charged with extortion and obstructing justice.

Ficano did apologize for a past lack of “oversight” in his administration, but says he’s brought in a new management team and implemented reforms to clean up Wayne County.

“My administration is already adhering to a more stringent ethics policy,” Ficano said. “At the heart of that, is my pledge to the people of Wayne County that I will do everything I can to restore trust and confidence in county government.”

Ficano touted his record on economic development, saying he’s helped bring in billions of dollars in business investment.

“I’m focused on attracting jobs, and bringing balanced economic growth to Wayne County,” he said.

And Ficano ended on a defiant note, saying he won’t step down, despite public calls for his resignation.

“Whatever is broken in Wayne County right now, I’m gonna fix,” Ficano said. “And I’m not gonna walk away from that.”

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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