Mullin didn't understand fuss over $200k severance, says airport lawyer

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Turkia Mullin just didn't understand all the fuss over her $200,000 severance, even after agreeing to give it back. 

That's according to the deposition of Metro Airport attorney Emily Neuberger, who said she met with Mullin shortly after said she'd return her golden parachute.

According to Neuberger, Mullin seemed baffled, noting that her predecessor was paid a severance:

" why shouldn't I get this?" she said Mullin asked.

Neuberger told Mullin she wasn't entitled to it because she wasn't fired. Instead, she left on her own. 

In Mullin's deposition, she said that it was Robert Ficano who told her to first apply for the top job at Metro Airport; something she said she didn't initially want. But after she was hired and 7 Action News exposed her secret severance deal, Ficano's support evaporated.

Said Airport Board Member Sam Nouhan, Ficano assured him the airport board was going to fire Mullin: "The handwriting is on the wall, there are six votes," he says he was told. Nouhan says he thought Ficano was giving him the green light to fire Mullin, and "improve his political posture."

Ficano's deposition was also released Thursday, and it showed just how strained his relationship with his one-time lieutenant has become.  When asked if Mullin was owed an apology for all she went through over the severance fallout, Ficano responded: "No."

Also, significant was who said nothing at all under oath:  at least three people involved in Mullin's hiring asserted their fifth amendment rights and answered no questions all. They include Mullin's old friend Azzam Elder, and board members Charlie Williams and Renee Axt. All three said they refused to comment because of the ongoing FBI investigation.

If you have a tip for the 7 Action News Investigators, contact us at or at (248) 827-9466.

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