Reporting Marie Osborne
DETROIT (WWJ) - Embattled Wayne County Deputy Executive Azzam Elder is out and former U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins is in.
Amid the Turkia Mullin severance scandal, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano Thursday announced several key changes within county government.
Collins will take over for Elder, who was implicated in a scandal involving the $200,000 severance payment to Mullin, who left her job as Wayne County Economic Development Director to become CEO of Detroit Metro Airport. She was fired from that position on Monday.
Ficano said Elder has voluntarily resigned.
“It was in the best interest of the county, under the current situation, for him to remove himself for his position with the county,” said Ficano, in a new conference Thursday afternoon. “This resignation is not a negative reflection on Mr. Elder.”
The county Director of Corporation Counsel Marianne Talon will also be replaced.
Ficano gave Talon the option to stay on with the county as a civil service employee, but didn’t say whether she accepted the demotion.
Attorney Zenna Elhasan has been named the new Corporation Counsel.
“It’s time to set the record straight and transparency is the key,” said Ficano. “I’m making changes and I’m committed to renewing the faith of the people of Wayne County.”
He said that recent events have been “humbling”.
Along with the staffing replacements, Ficano also outlined some key changes in his administration, promising that each employee contract will be reviewed and any discrepancy will be exposed.
Meantime, Mullin and her attorney are planning their legal battle over her dismissal. (More on this, here).