Jim Fouts makes one final veto before leaving Warren mayor’s office

Warren ― On his final day in office, former Warren Mayor Jim Fouts vetoed the City Council’s approval of three months of payments to their contracted law firm, but the council’s attorney said the action is unenforceable.

Since spring 2020, Warren City Council has retained Bloomfield Hills-based law firm Plunkett Cooney for its legal representation instead of using the city attorney, Ethan Vinson. Last Tuesday, the council approved $76,494.44 to Plunkett Cooney for invoices dated between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, according to Fouts and the council’s attorney, Jeffrey Schroder.  

But on Friday, Fouts’ last day working inside City Hall, he vetoed the council’s action.

“Before I exit office today, I will leave on the high note by taking one final stand against this questionable use of tax dollars, specifically $76,494.44 for an outsider to sit with City Council!” he said in the veto letter addressed to City Clerk Sonja Buffa. “There is nothing in the charter that allows the council to hire an outside law firm crony to sit in place of the appointed city attorney.”

The council and the mayor have sued each other numerous times over the last four years. Those lawsuits cover topics ranging from this year’s mayoral election to approving the city’s budget and paying for a firefighter cadet training program.

Background:‘Was it a waste of tax dollars?’: What Warren spent on lawsuits between mayor, council

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