Oakland Exec Prefers ‘Joining the Klan’ to Helping CEO’s Drive Investment to Detroit

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, head of one of the wealthiest areas in Michigan, says he’d rather “join the Klan” than help a group of CEO’s direct new investment towards Detroit. The CEO’s say aiding the city will help the entire state as well.

Jake Neher/WDET

The head of Oakland County’s government says he would rather be part of the Ku Klux Klan than join a group of Metro Detroit business executives who claim they are trying to promote new investment across the region.

Studies find Oakland County is among the wealthiest areas in the nation.

And Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson says his area can stand alone economically no matter how well or poorly the state’s largest city – nearby Detroit – is doing.

But Patterson charges that a group of CEO’s in the Metro area are trying to “snatch” new business investment away from Oakland County and direct it towards revitalizing Detroit.

The County Executive says he has little interest in being part of the effort.

“Oh, hell no. I’d rather join the Klan,” Patterson said. “They’re not working with us, or they’re not working for us. We are direct competitors. That’s the way I see it.”

Patterson later apologized for what he called a poor choice of words.

Detroit regional chamber officials say they are working with business leaders to create jobs and drive investment across the entire region.  


Click the audio link above to hear the full story


  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.