The severance scandal first exposed by the 7 Action News Investigators has lead to another resignation…
This time it’s the chair of the Wayne County Airport Authority Board who’s stepping down.
Renee Pipis Axt is the latest county insider to leave her post – today she resigned as chair of the Wayne County Airport Authority Board.
Just days ago -- Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano challenged anyone on the Airport Authority Board to resign if they felt they had any conflicts of interest.
“If there’s anybody in that current term that has too close a tie, that they feel to WC, where it has an appearance that it’s too close a tie, I would have absolutely no problem if they want to step down.”
In a written statement, Renee Axt did not say why she was stepping down, just that her resignation was “effective immediately,” Ficano said at a press conference on Thursday.
Ficano appointed Axt to the Airport Authority in 2008.
Axt is a lobbyist with many ties to Wayne County. She owns RCP Associates, one of the companies that was recently named in subpoenas as part of the FBI’s probe into Wayne County.
The resignation of Renee Axt comes one week after Turkia Mullin was fired from her position as Detroit Metro Airport CEO. Axt and the other board members voted to hire Mullin in August… until the severance scandal prompted the board to terminate Mullin.
Axt serves on the controversial non-profit Wayne County Business Development Corporation, which paid Mullin $75,000, in addition to the $200,000 she made each year as Economic Development Director for the county.
The 7 Action News Investigators were the first to expose the potential conflicts of interest surrounding the fund, and the non-profit is also being investigated by the FBI.
Axt released a statement today, saying, quote, “The timing allows the Board to prepare for its next meeting with knowledge of my resignation. It also provides the County Executive the opportunity to appoint a new individual to the Board prior to the Board’s election of new officers, which will occur this month. I am very proud of my service on the Airport Authority Board, and wish everyone the best going forward.”
Airport officials are telling Action News Investigator Heather Catallo that Renee Axt did not give a reason for leaving the board, but Robert Ficano is saying she left for personal reasons.
Ficano released this statement, saying, quote, “Ms. Axt has been a dedicated volunteer. She worked tirelessly for the good of the airport and was very positive in pushing projects forward.”
The county executive accepted her resignation this morning, and says the search for her successor will start immediately.
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