Defenders uncover exclusive bombshell emails

Was the fix in to hire Turkia Mullin at Metro Airport?

Author: Kevin Dietz, Local 4 Defenders, @KDietzLocal4
Published On: Dec 14 2011 08:17:35 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 14 2011 11:16:51 PM EST
DETROIT -

The committee that hired Turkia Mullin as Detroit Metro Airport’s CEO may have met illegally, according to new evidence uncovered by attorney Carl Marlinga.

"You had a group of people getting together deciding Turkia Mullin is going to get this job. Legalities were ignored. The Open Meetings Act was ignored," said Marlinga, attorney for Robert Davis, a Wayne County activist.

Marlinga attained an email sent to one CEO candidate by Jack Krasula, the president of Trust in Us, the company hired to help find the new airport CEO.  The message told the applicant he had not been hired.  Another person had filled the position, wrote Krasula.

The email was dated before the airport board met to nominate its CEO, violating the requirement that decisions be made before the public.

Airport Board Chair Renee Axt, who has resigned since the FBI began investigating Mullin’s hiring, selected the three person search committee from airport board members. 

That committee was made up of Sam Nouhan, whose law firm was contracted for $1 million of work for Wayne County, Charlie Williams, who mediated the sale of Greektown Casino’s parking garage, earning $420,000, and Sue Hall, who is employed by the Wayne County Sheriff's Department.

Nouhan, Hall and Williams would decide who would be Metro Airport’s director.

Another email obtained by Marlinga showed that the group had withheld Mullin’s name from a report to Delta Airlines, Metro Airport's largest carrier.

Board member Nouhan wrote in the email that Delta is qualified to critique candidates with airport experience, but that it is not in regards to non-airport candidates, such as Mullin.

"That is why I didn’t reveal (Mullin’s) identity," Nouhan wrote.

Marlinga said that he believes withholding Mullin’s name is another deliberate attempt to hide the board's fait accompli selection of the ex-CEO.

On Friday, a judge will decide the legality of Mullin’s hiring.  If in violation of Michigan’s open meetings law, her contract and the $750,000 severance salary granted to her would be nullified.