Ficano: Mullin's Leadership Is 'Compromised'

Board Member Says Turkia Mullin Scandal Is On Monday's Agenda

Published On: Nov 02 2011 09:18:01 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 31 2011 10:14:05 AM EDT
DETROIT -

In a statement Friday, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said the severance scandal surrounding Turkia Mullin has reached a point to where it "has become an obvious distraction that will continue into the foreseeable future."

Ficano's statement comes on the same day that the Wayne County Airport Authority Board announced it had called a special meeting Monday, in part to discuss the situation.

Board member Bernard Parker told Local 4 on Friday that the board support for Mullin has been eroding and he thinks she should step down.

Ficano echoed the sentiment in his statement, "I am disheartened that the promise the board saw in her has diminished."

Mullin was Wayne County's economic development director before she resigned in August to become CEO of Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Wayne County has come under fire for the large severance she received at her parting with the county.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano had earlier defended Mullin's severance deal, but later said protocol was not followed. An FBI investigation has ensued and agents served subpoenas at the county headquarters this past week.

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Once the information about Mullin?s severance package surfaced in late September, Mullin had said she would voluntarily pay the money back. Ficano on Thursday said the county had received a $135,900 check from Mullin. That amount was what Mullin received after taxes last month.

In a previously released statement, Mullin has said she remains confident in her new position.

"My strong focus is on airport business and on operating both Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Willow Run Airport in the safest, most efficient and effective manner possible," she said.

A spokesman for the airport authority declined to comment until after the public meeting.

"My vision for Aerotropolis has always been to have a strong leader at the helm. I believe under the current situation this has been compromised. When the Board meets next week they should proceed with what is best for the continued success of the airport and this region," Ficano said.