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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Peeling the Ficano Onion

     For eight years he had a front row seat to inner workings of the Bob Ficano administration.  And Phil Cavangh did not like what he saw or didn't see.
     Now a state lawmaker, the Redford Democrat is coming forth with the suggestion to the news media that there are other "transactions that should be looked into…I was troubled by many events."
     By now you have read that the Wayne County Executive Mr. Ficano is swimming in a swirling controversay that began with a $200,000 bonus to one of his appointees and now with the FBI sticking its nose in, no one is quite sure where are this will end…if at all.
     For you old timers out there, it is shades of the Eddie McNamara days when he ran the Wayne County government and there were all sorts of unproven allegations that he was engaged in some willful wrongdoing.
     Mr. Ficano says he has done nothing wrong and there is no hint of any impending charges, but Rep. Cavangh sat on the county Ways and Means committee and had a birds-eye view of the Ficano budgets.
     Sometimes the "view" was either fuzzy or blocked.
     "We would ask for the number of appointees, what their jobs were and what they were paid," he recalls.  But there were instances of "stonewalling" by the executive's office as commissioners were simply told to "trust our decisions."
      Cavanagh may be a trusting soul, but he was not comfortable when the auditor general was unable to "get documents" on various spending items.
      "I'm not declaring anything criminal," he explains but he urges the media to peel back more of the Ficano onion.
       One wonders if the odor could get any worse than it already is.


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