DETROIT (WWJ) – One day after FBI agents served subpoenas at Wayne County offices, county commissioners planned to meet to discuss the growing severance pay scandal involving Turkia Mullin, Metro Airport’s new director.
Steve Hood left county government in 2009- - without severance pay, he points out. And, in interviews on WWJ back then he raised questions about county operations. So, he’s not surprised by the scandal that has rocked the Ficano administration.
“I knew it was coming, but still a side of me is sad to see it happen. And I really don’t think it was Mr. Ficano’s doing. I think he abdicated too much authority to his underlings and they went buck wild. I mean, how are you going to give somebody a $200,000 severance while your boss is out of the country? Come on, please,” Hood said.
Hood, a former Ficano appointee, said if any wrongdoing is uncovered, the county commission has a removal procedure. But, as far as the $200,000 severance payout being a mistake, Hood said, “You still gave somebody $200,000 without commission approval. And that’s a dereliction of fiduciary responsibility in my book.”
Not good for Ficano, he says, “It could also be a conversion of public funds to private use. This is bad. These are all grounds for him to step down and leave, but its got to be proven first.” Even though he believes that Ficano was not behind the payout, Hood said the scandal will cost the county executive politically.
“It’ll be a free-for-all next time around. And, of course, the person sitting in the best seat right now to win that election next time around is Benny Napoleon,” says Hood.
“It’s over. It’s definitely over, it’s just a matter of time. He definitely won’t be re-elected,” says Hood of Ficano’s likelihood to retain his position.
Hood also predicts Turkia Mullin will lose her new $250,000 a year post at Metro Airport.
Hear WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas’ interview with Steve Hood: