Ex-Warren Mayor Jim Fouts ordered to pay $1,500 in fines for misuse of city TV channel

Posted at 11:49 AM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 11:49:05-04

The Michigan Secretary of State has approved an agreement with former Warren Mayor Jim Fouts for breaking campaign finance laws.

According to the agreement, Fouts paid $1,500 related to misusing the city's cable TV channel when he promoted city council candidates during his 2023 state of the city address.

Last July, 7 Investigator Heather Catallo reported the accusation against Fouts for breaking campaign finance laws.

Watch her investigation below

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts accused of breaking campaign finance laws

In Michigan, it’s unlawful for a public body or a person acting on the public body’s behalf to use personnel, equipment, and public resources to help a political candidate. And that’s exactly what the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections is now investigating the Warren Mayor for doing during his recent State of the City speech.

“I want to highly recommend council members,” said Fouts during his State of the City address on June 22, 2023.

At the end of Fouts’ State of the City address last month, he spent the last 12 minutes and 11 seconds of his speech endorsing candidates for city council, city clerk, and for mayor.

“When you see Sonja at the booth -- you vote not only for George Dimas, you vote for Sonja Buffa,” said Fouts to the crowd.

Our cameras were rolling as the term-limited Fouts used a PowerPoint presentation showing his chosen candidates for the August primary. But those weren’t the only cameras rolling that day.

Fouts was ordered to reimburse the City of Warren $750 and pay $750 to the State of Michigan.

Warren City Council Secretary Mindy Moore released a statement that said in part, “these fines are not a deterrent to Jim Fouts. He is a repeat offender. We need tougher laws against politicians that misuse public resources."