Detroit/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 15, 2024
Former Warren Mayor Jim Fouts Fined for Political Endorsements on City TV ChannelSource: City of Warren, Michigan

The former mayor of Warren, Michigan, Jim Fouts, has been slapped with fines after being accused of using a local government TV channel to boost his preferred political candidates. The state's Secretary of State's office confirmed Fouts must fork over $1,500, with half to be paid to the City of Warren and the other half to the state itself, according to a report by ClickOnDetroit.

The allegations stem from Fouts' conduct during a televised speech in June 2023. A release from the Warren City Council revealed Fouts used "TV Warren" to namedrop his picks for an upcoming primary election, reported by WXYZ. The state of the city address reportedly was broadcast multiple times daily over several days.

Members of the Warren City Council were less than pleased with the financial penalty meted out, claiming it lacked the severity needed to deter future misuse of public resources. Council secretary Mindy Moore expressed her disappointment, as per ClickOnDetroit, saying, "We need tougher laws against politicians that misuse public resources. I am disappointed that the secretary of state did not seek more penalties.”

It's not Fouts' first time in hot water over similar issues. In 2018, the Secretary of State determined that the 2016 State of the City address turned into an illicit fundraiser, leading to fines for Fouts and another city official, WWJ Newsradio reported. The fines imposed are a drop in the bucket for Fouts, who despite the controversy, is seeking a House seat in the 14th District.

While Fouts' time as Warren's head honcho concluded in November 2023 due to new term limits, he remains politically active. After a court battle prohibited him from seizing a fifth term as mayor, he quickly shifted gears, positioning himself for a continued presence in the political sphere. Whether his recent transgressions will impede his campaign for the state House remains to be seen.