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Board Hires New Airport Authority CEO

ROMULUS (WWJ) – The Wayne County Airport Authority has a new CEO – almost a year after it fired its last pick amid an FBI investigation.

The last pick was Turkia Mullin, who was fired as CEO of the Airport Authority amid word of a federal investigation into her $200,000 severance deal from her previous job in Wayne County government. On Wednesday, the Authority hired Thomas Naughton – the guy who has been the interim CEO and the one who came in second place behind Mullin for the spot.

Members of the Authority expressed concerns over hiring Naughton without a search, but most felt he was the best person for the job. So, in an interesting move the Authority voted to not have a search, and then to hire Naughton as the permanent executive. Authority member Bernard Parker was the only “no” vote.

“Again it makes it look like there’s some predetermination or favoritism that’s being shown to the candidate. And I just think we’re going to have some criticism of it,” said Parker.

The group debated whether to include a one-year severance deal in Naughton’s three-year contract. Member Parker, opposed it.

“I really don’t think we should do that. I don’t think I have to speak to other reasons that are out there right now that we could be subject to some criticism for previous agreements. So I think we should not include this,” said Parker.

In the end, Naughton’s contract did not include a severance buyout. He will be paid $250,000 annually, for three years.

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