MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) – Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is explaining himself following an outlandish comment he made on Mackinac Island.

During an interview, Patterson was asked what advice he would offer embattled Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.

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Patterson responded, “Go in the garage, pull the door down, leave the engine running.”

Speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950 later in the day, Patterson made it clear he’s not actually suggesting that his colleague kill himself.

“Lesson number one: never tell a bad joke on a slow news day,” he said with a laugh. “It was a joke … but that’s the nature of the beast. Bob was sitting right there. We were just having a little fun. I was just trying to really lighten the moment.”

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While his office has been plagued by scandal, indictments and allegations, Ficano has been repeatedly called upon to resign. Ficano maintains that he has done nothing wrong and he plans to stay put. (The latest on that, here).

“Bob’s been taking such heat lately, I thought inject a little humor into it,” said Patterson. “Oh, well. It’s not the first time, it won’t be the last time my sense of humor’s got me in trouble.”

Patterson made the joke Wednesday among hundreds of Michigan’s business and political leaders gathered for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference.

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Get complete conference coverage at this link