DETROIT (WWJ) With the news of Detroit’s bankruptcy still sinking in — some financial experts say Wayne County could be next.

Ed Sarpolus, executive director of Insyght Institute, told WWJ a special summit will be held Saturday to discuss the very real possibility of Wayne County facing bankruptcy — and an emergency manager.

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“They’re running an annual deficit of about $42 million this year, $200 million in the hole already, and the fact of the impact of Detroit is already being felt — Imagine what it’s going to be like if the county falls into the same problem of getting emergency management and they have to go into bankruptcy,” Sarpolus said.

With a projected $18 billion in debt, Detroit is the largest municipality to ever enter bankruptcy. Could it take down the surrounding county as well?

Moody’s, the bond rating service, downgraded the county’s bond rating — which indicates how likely it is to be able to re-pay its debts — to BBB-, the level just above junk bond. The lower the level, the higher the interest rates, and the harder loans are to pay back.

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Wayne County has weathered a series of financial scandals this year, with several people in and around the administration of County Executive Robert Ficano facing charges for financial misdeeds.

The summit is taking place Saturday at the University of Michigan Dearborn Campus from 10 a.m. until noon.

“This is not just a chat, this is to learn,” Sarpolus said.

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