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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Turkia Mullin, fired from Detroit Metro Airport CEO job, vows to sue

Photo Credit-Google Images
Metro Airport CEO Turkia Mullin
was fired on October 31st following
severance pay scandal fallout.
The Detroit Metro County Airport Authority exercised their due diligence as body elected by the people of Wayne County and, on October 31st fired former Wayne County Economic Development Director Turkia Mullin from her job as Airport C.E.O.

Mullin’s removal follows nearly a month of back and forth issues with Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano (D), agreeing to a $200K severance package to be paid to Mullin, if she left her job as Economic Development Director. Mullin took another job, paid in part by the tax payers of Wayne County, for $250K as Metro Airport C.E.O.

Local News station WXYZ Channel 7, broke the original story of Ms. Mullin being paid an unprecedented amount of money to leave one employment opportunity, for another one on September 28th. From there the scandal grew to include a new FBI investigation into Wayne County Government finances and more.

Mullin announced immediately, with her lawyer on Monday, that she plans to sue the Metro Airport Authority Board on her termination. If Mullin wins the suit, Wayne County airport could foot of the bill for the entire three years of her now terminated contract, or $708,000.

Airport board members who voted 5-2 to dismiss her said they had appropriate reasons and don't owe Mullin any additional money. The reason surround a provision in her contract that defines cause as "dishonesty, theft, willful misconduct, breach of fiduciary duty or unethical business conduct which is injurious to the Authority in other than a de minimums manner," the Airport Authority Board stated to the Free Press.

If the airport authority can prove she violated the terms of her contract, she gets nothing. But if the authority can't, she is owed the balance of the contract.

After the firing, the airport board voted to appoint the airport's chief financial officer, Tom Naughton, as interim CEO of the airport. Naughton was one of six finalists, with actual airport management experiences, who interviewed for the top spot that went to Mullin in August. Mullin started in her new airport job September 2nd.

Controversy surrounding Mullin’s approval for Metro Airport CEO quickly grew after word of the $200K severance package, quickly followed by revelations that she received a personal payment of $75K from a nonprofit funded by businesses that had county contracts and embellishment of achievements on her resume with bringing $5.5 billion worth of investments into the county, which was unproven.

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