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Ficano calls for 20% budget cuts; department heads rebel

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano saysdepartment heads will have to implement deep cuts.

But department heads are rebelling, and one has already threatened to sue.

In a 2-year budget plan, Ficano says all county departments will have to absorb a 20% budget cut if the Wayne County is to avoid fiscal disaster.

He says property tax revenues have plummeted, and the county faces a $155 million dollar accumulated deficit.

But one top county official, Prosecutor Kym Worthy, is already crying foul.

Worthy issued a statement calling Ficano’s proposal “completely disingenuous." She says she and her staff have already taken 10% pay cuts, and threatened to sue if he doesn’t back off.

Worthy ended by saying: “He can talk to me about cuts when he recoups the millions of dollars in severances, fringes and perks that he has given his staff.”

Ficano’s office is being investigated by the FBI for lucrative payouts given to former appointees, among other things.

Wayne County has been mentioned asa possible candidate for a state takeover if its finances worsen. State officials say they’re monitoring the situation.

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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