Turkia Mullin sues Wayne County for additional severance, lifetime health benefits

(WXYZ) DETROIT - Disgraced former economic development chief Turkia Mullin is suing Wayne County, claiming she's entitled to lifetime health benefits and additional severance.

Mullin, who resigned from her county position last Fall for a higher-paying but short-lived job as Metro Airport CEO, says an early-retirement incentive that Ficano promised her was withheld after she left the county. 

The benefit was offered to appointees to thin the work-force in 2011, but Mullin and 14 other appointees were deemed too valuable to leave.  Mullin and others were told they could cash-out that benefit at a later date if they agreed to stay.  Mullin's deal is estimated at about $60,000. 

The payouts were scrapped shortly after 7 Action News exposed Mullin's secret $200,000 severance payment, .  But county employees took Ficano to court over the deals, and a judge later ruled the county was obligated to pay them.

Mullin also claims she's entitled to a little-known perk that gave top county brass and their family free lifetime health benefits.  To be qualified, top officials required at least 8 years of service.  Mullin insists she did, but the county claims she was just a few days short.

That perk, too, was killed off when county officials learned 7 Action News was preparing a story about its cost. 

"She is not claiming anything different from the other employees and would not have to sue at all if Wayne County would just comply with the law," said Mullin's attorney Ray Sterling.

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