FIRST ON 7: Turkia Mullin contract ruled valid

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) - There are new developments concerning Turkia Mullin and her high-profile dismissal as head of the Wayne County Airport Authority.

7 Action News is the first to report that Mullin has won the initial round in her attempt to collect more than $700,000 from the Airport Board.

Airport Board member Bernard Parker and two other highly-placed sources confirmed the news to Action News Friday.

Mullin and the Airport Board have been locked in a battle for the money ever since Mullin was fired by the board last year.

Mullins said she is entitled to the money because she was fired without cause.

The board claims her contract was invalid to begin with.

But Action News has learned that an arbitrator has ruled the contract is indeed valid.

That's a win for Mullin.

"The airport was trying to get out of it from some legal technicalities that frankly didn't make that much sense and the judge agreed she does have a valid contract," said Ray Sterling, attorney for Mullin.

But the case is far from over.

The arbitrator will still have to decide if there was a rush to judgment to fire Mullin and prove she was fired with just cause.

"If they can't do that, we don't think they can, they lose, again, round two which is huge," said Sterling.

Mullin was hired as the airport's CEO last August making $250,000 dollars a year for three years.  The contract states she can receive the balance of her contract if she is let go without just cause.   

Any payment made to Mullin would not come from taxpayer money.

Parker told Action News Friday the board had hoped the contract "would have been thrown out".

Mullin initially found herself embroiled in controversy when Action News investigators discovered she had been paid a $200,000 severance for voluntarily leaving her job with Wayne County to take the new job with the airport.

7 Action News reached out to board members Saturday for comment but they had not returned phone calls.

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