Bob Ficano won't talk to me. I'm told the embattled Wayne County executive won't even allow me into the county buildings without one of his henchman minding me. I don't think that's legal, but that's a story for another day.
Play the video to see Charlie's
latest visit to the Wayne County Building and the response he gets from a
staff member on the floor.
So if you know Bob, please pass on a message for me and tell him it's in the spirit of holiday brotherhood: Sir, if I were you, I'd resign now.
Elections are a long way off but the people have turned on you. I know. I'm paid to talk to them. The police and mayors in the suburbs are angry that the county jails are so poorly run that you kick criminals back on the streets hours after their booked because of overcrowding. People in the city wonder where is the money for buses and roads. Then they see you hiring every has-been Democrat at lucrative salaries and the people burn.
Elections are three years away and you probably figure there is time to make amends for the no show jobs, no bid contracts and sweetheart severance deals you've bestowed on donors and friends... and even the sister of your girlfriend while the rest of us worry about the rent.
You make excuses that you didn't know. You've apologized, but for nothing in particular. You've thrown a few lieutenants under the bus.
Maybe you can wait it out.
But the Feds are coming. They're coming soon. Expect indictments possibly as early as next month. I am told It's an accelerated push to smoke you out. You won't be the target. Not at first. It'll be those below you to see who cracks. But they are coming. As one Fed said: "The thing we like the least are politicians lining their pockets."
At best, your legal battles will be costly and humiliating. In the meantime, the public and the county will suffer from your distraction.
And then there is the State. I took a trip to Lansing this week to have eggnog with A-Man-In-The-Know. He told me the finances of the county are a disaster – at least $165 million deficit – a barrel of red ink spilling over with cronies bobbing for contracts. I'm told the deficit reduction plan you submitted to the treasurer stinks. "Not viable," says Mr. In-The-Know.
This makes the county susceptible to a state takeover and an emergency manager, once the disaster of Detroit is handled. That means two arms of superior government will be poring through the books, surely an embarrassment for who support you and benefit from the friendship.
Take the easy way out. Go gracefully. Tell them you want to spend quality time with your family. Your predecessor, Ed McNamara, did it and the Feds went away. Okay McNamara died, but you get the point.
Even some of those in your inner circle agree. I meet with them sometimes you know.
Merry Christmas, Bob.