Ficano Denied Additional Cash For Legal Costs In FBI Probe

DETROIT (WWJ) – Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano’s request to extend a contract with an outside law firm dealing with federal subpoenas has been turned down by county commissioners.

The county commissioners voted unanimously to reject the $350,000 contract. The law firm reduced the contract to $150,000, but the county commissioners still said no.

Attorney Thomas Cranmer began helping the county with the FBI  subpoenas since they were served on eight county departments in October.

“I suspect and anticipate that there will be additional subpoenas that come forth in the days to come,” and Cranmer. “I think it’s fair to say that … I’d like to think, anyway, that I’ve had a good working relationship with corporation council’s office, in terms of helping them through the process.”

“They have certainly devoted a substantial amount of their own time and effort,” he said.

Ficano earlier this week asked commissioners for more taxpayer money to fund a criminal defense attorney to help comply with eight federal subpoenas involving the $200,000 severance paid to ex-county employee Turkia Mullin. He wants to continue with the blue-chip Detroit firm of Miller-Canfield as it deals with the feds, who are probing alleged county corruption.

Commissioner Laura Cox voted no.

“This is very upsetting to me and, representing the tax payers, I don’t know how I can say, yeah, here’s a check for $350 (thousand),” Cox said. “I’m not doubting that they do a good job, but I’m thinking that somebody else could do just as well of a good job either cheaper, or we do it in house.”

A spokesperson for Ficano said he’ll regroup.

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