Thursday, October 20, 2011

Embattled Ficano retires lavish buyout deals for appointees

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 4:22 PM

A controversial buyout program targeting certain Wayne County political appointees has been discontinued, according to stories being posted on The Detroit News and Free Press websites.

The program, which provides eligible appointees with up to 24-weeks pay — on top of the lifelong pension payments they will receive — was first reported on last week.

As we disclosed, about 40 people had taken the deal. We also uncovered the fact that perhaps 20 of those people had been re-hired by the county as independent contractors soon after they retired.

The News wrote about the controversial program in today’s issue.

The dailies are reporting that County Executive Robert Ficano told reporters after an event being held by the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce: "As of today, the executive pay package that was reported is suspended."

Among those who had taken the deal is Tim Taylor, the county’s former human resources director.

Taylor is also one of the people re-hired as a contractor immediately after retiring from the county and taking the buyout. On Friday, Ficano ended the contract with Taylor because of Taylor’s alleged role in the scandalous $200,000 severance payment made earlier this year to Turkia Mullin when she left her job as the county’s director of development to become CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority.

Disclosure of that payment last month resulted in an FBI investigation. That probe generated headlines earlier this week when the feds served subpoenas seeking records  and documents related to Mullin’s severance deal.

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