Ex-Detroit Airport Boss Wins $712,000 For Firing
ROMULUS (WWJ/AP) – An arbitrator has awarded about $712,000 to the former Detroit Metro Airport chief executive, saying that a county board wrongly fired her.
The Wayne County airport board fired Turkia Mullin in October 2011 during a dispute over a $200,000 severance payment that County Executive Robert Ficano made to her when she left her previous job as the county’s economic development director. She later repaid the money.
Mullin was on the job just two months. She has since been named the target of an FBI investigation into the county.
WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langon says the arbitrator made the right decision.
“If she’s fire because of something she did wrong while she was at the airport, she doesn’t get the severance pay,” said Langton. “That was the issue, and this arbitrator found that, in the couple of months that she was employed at the airport, she didn’t do anything wrong. She was entitled to the severance.”
WXYZ-TV reported arbitrator Paul Teranes also ordered the airport authority to pay Mullin’s lawyers, but he denied Mullin’s request for punitive damages.
The Detroit Free Press reported that the airport board says it’s “disappointed with the outcome of the arbitration” and still believes it was justified in firing Mullin.
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