Detroit suburb sued after refusing to disclose names and pay
A sheet of uncut $100 bills makes the way through the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas on Sept. 24, 2013 file photo. (AP / LM Otero)
WARREN, MICH. -- One of Michigan’s largest cities is being sued after disclosing the pay of city employees but refusing to provide names, especially the identities of some people in the fire department who were paid more than $200,000 in 2020.
Warren, a Detroit suburb, is violating Michigan’s public records law and a series of court decisions, according to a lawsuit filed by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation.
“It is essential that the public be able to track how its tax dollars are being spent,” said Steve Delie, who focuses on transparency and open government at the Midland-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
An email seeking comment was sent to the city Monday.
The Mackinac Center said it learned that three fire department employees were each paid slightly more than $200,000 last year and another three were each paid more than $190,000. But no names were released by Warren, which has a population of about 134,000.
Mayor Jim Fouts told the group that overtime and the difficulty of hiring during the pandemic led to higher pay.