Warren City Council investigates Fouts over ‘secret’ hiring of Republican political consultant

Mar 15, 2021 at 11:49 am
click to enlarge Warren Mayor Jim Fouts. - City of Warren
City of Warren
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is accused of secretly giving a full-time city job to a longtime Republican consultant without the required approval of council.

City council council members, who are investigating the hiring, said Jamie Roe has been on the city’s payroll for at least 10 weeks, serving as a “clerical technician.” He’s receiving a full-time salary, health care benefits, and a retirement account.

Council members are wondering how Roe finds time to work. During work hours, he routinely uses Facebook and Twitter to make political statements. At 2 p.m. on Thursday, Roe announced on Facebook that he created a “full-service” political consulting firm.

“I am shocked that the Mayor would allow a full-time employee to operate a full-time service political consulting firm during work hours,” Council President Patrick Green said in a statement. “When Jim Fouts was on city council, he railed against political consultants working at city hall. He has become the very thing he swore to destroy.”

The Legal Affairs Subcommittee met Monday morning and referred the issue to a meeting of the full city council at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Council members say Fouts violated the city charter by keeping the appointment a secret. The charter requires the mayor to “certify to the clerk, in writing, the names of each appointee to an appointive office within five days after such appointment is made and shall announce such appointment to the council at the next regular council meeting following the date of such appointment.”

No notice was ever given, council members said.

During city work hours over the past 10 weeks, Roe has tweeted criticisms of President Joe Biden, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Attorney General Dana Nessel, all of whom are Democrats. He also criticized Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions and the state’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. At 10:13 a.m. on March 5, he called for Nessel’s replacement. At 12:59 p.m. on Feb. 4, Roe endorsed Ron Weiser at Michigan GOP chairman.

Some of the social media posts raise questions about whether Roe is even working. At 8:42 a.m. on Feb. 16, a selfie posted to his Facebook page shows him on a morning walk with his dog.

Metro Times
couldn’t reach Fouts or Roe for comment.

This is not the first time Fouts, a self-proclaimed independent, has come under fire for his hiring decisions. In June 2020, Warren City Council eliminated the job of Amanda Mika, whose salary more than doubled since she was caught holding hands with Fouts in 2014. Council members said they thought they were eliminating a vacant position because the mayor never notified them — as required by the city’s charter — that he appointed Mika to executive administrator. Mika had been the mayor’s executive assistant since at least 2011, when she was making $40,000 a year. Her salary jumped to more than $76,000 a year in 2019. When the council voted to eliminate the executive assistant position, Mika was making more than $90,000 a year.

Fouts also has come under fire since a string of recordings were made public, showing the mayor comparing Black people to “chimps” and calling women “hateful dried-up cunts.” In other recordings, the mayor mocked people with disabilities, said he wanted to have sex with “an abused woman," threatened to shoot his former chief of staff “through the fucking head,” called Rick Santorum’s daughter who has a disability a “mongoloid baby,” boasted about the ease of picking up teenage prostitutes in Amsterdam, and insisted that Black people commit crimes at a higher rate than white people.

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