Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has always maintained that a series of audio recordings in which he allegedly makes racist comments were doctored. But in a recent court deposition, he stops short of denying he made the disparraging remarks.
Fouts was being questioned as part of a federal lawsuit alleging racial bias against a former Warren police officer.
[Warren Police Officer DeSheila Howlett's] attorney, Leonard Mungo, asked Fouts if it was “your voice on those recordings disregarding African-Americans?”
Fouts responded, “I decline to answer the question on advice of counsel.”
The judge said the deposition was telling because Fouts refused to issue a denial.
Neavling reports U.S. District Judge Terrence G. Berg has ruled the recordings can be used in the case. They're pertinent, Berg says, because “An institution’s culture or unofficial hierarchy can be as impactful as any written policy or procedure if it encourages or tolerates discrimination and its harmful effects.”