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Detroiters can call new hotline, go online to report corruption

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Detroit Inspector General James W. Heath wants tips of corruption.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Detroit Inspector General James W. Heath wants tips of corruption. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

As inspector general for the City of Detroit, what does James W. Heath do?

"Root out fraud, abuse, waste and corruption in city government," he said.

Sounds like Superman.  Well, he and his justice league just might be the right crew to help clean up the city because in a lot of ways Detroiters are looking for a brand new day.

"In November of 2011, the citizens of Detroit voted for a brand new charter," said Heath.  "One of the most important changes that the citizens made was the establishment of the Office of Inspector General."

This independent agency has jurisdiction over all public servants in the city.  So if anybody is not on their Ps and Qs, they should be petrified.

"That means city employees, elected and appointed officials, board members and the like, also, very importantly, contractors and subcontractors who are doing business with the City of Detroit," Heath explained.

"We are not law enforcement, so we can't kick in doors, but we do have the keys to all the contracts and all the doors here in the city and we will track down fraud and abuse and corruption wherever it may lie."

Heath is calling on all citizens.  If you have a complaint, lodge it online at www.detoig.org or call the 24-hour hotline at (313) 964-8477.  You can remain anonymous if you would like.

"Our hotline and our website launched today.  Already we've been receiving complaints that we are already on top of investigating," Heath said.

Detroiters have been let down repeatedly.  Several city leaders who have taken an oath to do right by them have disappointed the people.  Some may say why should this agency be trusted?  What is going to be different this time around?

"I've been appointed to a single, six year term.  I cannot be reappointed, so I'm not trying to buck for this job again," said Heath.  "The proof is always in the pudding.  If you've got something you'd like to report, try us out, give us a call.  We'll show you how we get back to you.  We'll show you that we're going to follow up."

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