LANSING (WWJ) – An uproar in Lansing over a state department director who got a big raise behind closed doors.

Civil Rights Department Executive Director Agustin Arbulu was awarded $24,700 as a bonus — on top of his annual salary of just over $152,000.

While the amount of the bonus, 16 percent, may raise eyebrows, the fact that this was done in a closed-door meeting makes it “illegal,” says WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.

The secret deal is in violation of the state’s Opening Meetings law.

A department spokesman says it was an inadvertent oversight and will be reaffirmed in public at a later date.

Arbulu was named as the new executive director in 2015. He’s a former commission member who has worked in the health care industry and as a professor at Northwood University.

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