No-bid fail: Wayne County committee rejects Napoleon request - New York News

No-bid fail: Wayne County committee rejects Napoleon request

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Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon speaking at a campaign event as he runs for mayor of Detroit.  A county committee rejected his request for a no-bid contract on Wednesday. Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon speaking at a campaign event as he runs for mayor of Detroit. A county committee rejected his request for a no-bid contract on Wednesday.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

This story used to be solely about Bob Ficano, his Cadillac and his pit crew of wheelmen paid for out of the county's Homeland Security budget.  This time it's about Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and his turn at the trough.

Napoleon tried to push through a no-bid contract Wednesday by the Wayne County public safety committee to have a friend of his, retired Corporal Raymond Batts, drive him around town and do other cop-type stuff.

"He is what's considered a scout car partner.  He and the sheriff are out performing law enforcement services for the county," said Paul Bridges, the sheriff's press secretary.  "He is a seasoned law enforcement professional.  He has effectuated law enforcement activities during the course of their day.  He has made arrests."

But can Wayne County really afford another boutique bloodhound for tens of thousands of dollars a year?

Now all the while the sheriff is operating a budget that is both bleeding and bloated.  He has got a $30 million deficit, but still is carrying 41 appointees and a fleet of five dozen take home vehicles where the taxpayer gets to pay for the gas.

The committee said no way to the contract.

"Is the sheriff running a patronage pit here?" I asked Bridges.

"Absolutely not.  Not at all," she responded.

"We have a problem and not everyone is getting it.  If the top is getting it, then they need to send the message down to the bottom and say this is a new day, and we need to do the right thing," said Wayne County Commissioner Lona Varga.

That is good advice.  The sheriff better start getting it because this is just the tip of the iceberg, and as we all know, icebergs have a way of sinking things like mayoral candidacies.

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