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Embattled Wayne Chief Gives State Of County Talk

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Robert Ficano announces staffing changes (WWJ Photo/Marie Osborne, File).

Robert Ficano announces staffing changes (WWJ Photo/Marie Osborne, File).

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Embattled Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano is scheduled to give his annual State of the County address Wednesday night.

The past six months have been filled with turmoil for Ficano’s administration, beginning with the revelation that the county’s former economic development chief was given a $200,000 severance package. The money was returned, but led to an investigation by the FBI — a topic County Commissioner Bernard Parker expects Ficano to talk about.

“The reason why I think he’ll be here is because I think his pride is going to keep him office and he’s not going to want to admit that he had anything to do with anything,” said Parker.

“I anticipate he’s going to try to justify some of his positions and decisions he has made in the past, and try to also express and introduce his new staff and show how it’s going to be a different day, that those errors remain, that he had no responsibility for but he’s correcting them in the future,” Parker continued.

Ficano has said he’s cooperating with authorities and has fired some top aides, while others retired unexpectedly. Ficano also has said he won’t resign despite a call from a county commissioner asking him to step down.

Commissioner Ilona Varga hopes Ficano will focus on the positives.

“I’m hoping that the rumors that I hear that our county is doing better financially, that it’s going to be finally acknowledged and that it is really true,” Varga said.

Wayne is Michigan’s most populous county.

The speech will begin at 7 p.m. at the Guardian Building in downtown Detroit.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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