DETROIT - A lawsuit has been filed against Wayne County and former economic development director Turkia Mullin by a man who said he was fired when he refused to do an illegal transfer of money.
The lawsuit was filed Monday by former county employee Taylor Segue, who worked as a senior executive project manager from September 2009 to April 2011 in the Economic Development Growth Engine office.
In the lawsuit, Segue said auditors found $174, 939.93 in fees paid to the county that were sitting unused. The money came from investors who got tax credits through a federal program to help rehab neighborhoods.
Segue claims his supervisor at the time, Mullin, repeatedly told him to transfer the money to the Wayne County Business Development Corporation, which was a non-profit and non-government agency headed by Mullin.
The lawsuit also says the money in the corporation was controlled by Wayne County politicians who were free to use it without taxpayer accountability, including elaborate trips by county politicians to fly to Italy, China and other exotic locations.
Metro Airport spokesman Scott Wintner said the accusations against Mullin are not true.
"Financial transactions were not the responsibility, nor did the EDGE group have the authority to conduct legal transactions on behalf of the county. So, not only did she not order an employee to do it and fire the employee because of not committing any sort of illegal action, but financial transactions were simply not the PR of her or her former team of employees," Wintner said.
Mullin left her position with the county earlier this year to become chief executive for Detroit Metropolitan Airport. She was fired Monday following a messy severance deal with Wayne County.
Mullin received $200,000 in severance in September after leaving Wayne County.
She and County Executive Robert Ficano were criticized about the amount of the payment. Last month, Mullin repaid the after-tax amount of $135,900.
Ficano has said protocols weren't followed in the severance deal. He suspended two officials involved in the deal and fired a contract worker.
The FBI is investigating the deal.
SCOTT WINTNER, METRO AIRPORT SPOKESMAN
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