LeDuff: If Ficano sells the courthouse and jails, then what? - KMSP-TV

LeDuff: If Ficano sells Wayne County's courthouse and jails, then what?

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Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano
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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Ever since they scooped out the first shovel full of dirt at the new Wayne County Jail project two years ago, we have been telling you it would not be big enough, the financial analysis did not make any sense and it was going to be a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano is now trying to unload the white whale. He is having a garage sale asking investors to make an offer on the seven acre site and seven surrounding acres that include the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, two other jails and the juvenile detention facility. Those proposals were due at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Among those interested is mortgage mogul Dan Gilbert, who has said he will only pay a fair market value for the property.

"The fact that we now have invested $120-plus million and now have to put this property on the open market for sale, there's no way we're going to recoup the investment that's already been made," said real estate expert Tim Cook.

No one believes an investor will come up with $150 million to bail Ficano out of his jail.

"Bottom line is if the option doesn't make us whole and give us enough money to start anew, then we're stuck in the same hole, there's no sense in taking it," said Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara.

"An investor is, first off, not going to pay for your mistakes. Secondly, they're only going to pay market value," Cook said.

If Ficano does sell all the property, the county will not have a jail or a courthouse, and there are no blueprints or finances to build new ones. Here he goes again. You see the problem Wayne County? You're screwed.

When we asked Ficano for some answers, he said, "We're waiting for the proposals to come in, and let's see what the proposals say."

Watch the video report for more of Charlie LeDuff's dialogue with Ficano.

Which is the type of response you get from a guy who unbelievably says he is running for re-election.

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