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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Airport CEO Turkia Mullin seeks to avoid public open meetings over $200K severance package

Photo Credit-Google Images
Embattled Metro Airport CEO
Turkia Mullin (L) with Wayne
County Executive Robert Ficano
(R) are facing a FBI Investigation
over 200K severance package.
Embattled Metro Airport CEO Turkia Mullin refuses to take part in an open public hearing to discuss her $200K severance payment, which has led to an FBI investigation into Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano's (D) administration.

On the edge of “protectionism”, Airport board Chairwoman Renee Axt doesn't want a public airing either, said board member and Wayne County Commissioner Bernard Parker say to the Detroit Free Press.

Seeking to leave the public out of information on tax dollars paid to Mullin for leaving her job, Airport board Chairwoman Axt has been attending closed private meetings between Mullin and individual board members where questions can be asked.

A breaking news report from the Detroit Free Press on Sunday, October 23rd, stated Mullin had exaggerated claims via her resume, on the county's Web site and in interviews, that she alone brought $5.5 billion in business investment to Wayne County over two years.

Under the Michigan Open Meetings Act, a special meeting at which a quorum of the board is present must be posted in 18 hours in advance and open to the public. Meeting with individual boards members under the quorum requirement of four out of seven of the Metro Airport board members, would avoid the Open Meeting Act law.  

Another issue that is still at hand is upon WXYZ Channel 7 investigation on September 28th about the huge severance package hit public knowledge, Mullin on September 30th agreed to return the money. But to date, Mullin has yet to do so.

Airport spokesman Scott Wintner said Mullin wouldn't oppose a meeting if a majority of the board requests it.
"The tenor of the conversations between Turkia and board members late last week and today is not a revisit of the decision to appoint her, doubting her qualifications or assessing her role/involvement in whatever may or may not have occurred in Wayne County," Airport spokesman Scott Wintner stated to the Freep on Tuesday.
"The board is focused on ensuring that the Airport Authority can continue to operate most effectively in the wake of the controversy that it's been dragged into in the public eye but that really has nothing to do with us," he stated.
Regardless of the efforts to skate around the Open Meeting Act, Mullin questionable severance package should everything to do with the Airport Board Authority, which is located within the boundary limits of Wayne County. Public employees of the county have been subject to pay, benefits and unpaid furlough days cuts to balance a $160 million dollar deficit.

Meanwhile Mullin was paid $200K to leave her Economic Development Director (EDD) job, for the Airport Chief Executive role, where she now earns $250K. Her former secretary at EDD, who left with Mullin voluntary, was also paid $15K in a severance package to join her supervisor at Wayne County Airport.

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