Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is eligible to file for his fifth term in office, according to a ruling by Macomb circuit judge. The decision came after the Warren city clerk and election commission allowed Fouts to file for candidacy despite objections from some residents.
The controversy arose when some residents challenged Fouts' eligibility citing a city charter amendment that limited the mayor's terms of office. However, the court ruled that the amendment was not retroactive and did not apply to those who were already in office at the time of its adoption.
"The plain language of the charter amendment does not support petitioners' interpretation," said Judge Michael Servitto in his ruling. "The only reasonable conclusion is that the charter amendment did not apply retroactively."
Fouts has been serving as mayor of Warren since 2008 and has been re-elected four times since then. Despite facing criticism over several controversial remarks he made in recent years, Fouts remains popular among many residents who credit him with improving public safety and economic development in their city.
"I am grateful for this decision which will allow me to continue serving my community," said Fouts following the court's ruling. "I look forward to continuing my work towards making Warren a better place for all its residents."
Fouts will face opposition from several candidates who have filed for candidacy including former councilman Keith Sadowski, businessman Frank Ciccone Jr., and retired police officer Angelo DeGiulio.
The mayoral primary election is set to take place on August 3rd followed by general elections on November 2nd.