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Earley negotiated payout before resigning

Posted at 6:35 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2021-01-14 15:59:47-05

Emergency Manager Darnell Earley didn’t just resign from Detroit Public Schools last month, he got paid to do so. 

Now, we are getting a first look at the contract he negotiated with Governor Rick Snyder’s office last month.

The contract agrees to pay Earley $82,862.90. In exchange, he has to work as a consultant for the District and State Treasury officials until mid-July. 

"Mr. Earley is assisting with a smooth transition,” said Ari Adler, Director of Communications for Gov. Snyder. “It often is very helpful to have a new leader able to consult with a previous leader regarding decisions that were made or to help learn the operational history of an organization.”

When Earley signed the contract, he also agreed to release the state and its officers from any claim related to his work.

“It is hush money,” said LaMar Lemmons, DPS board member.

Lemmons has been a school board member for seven years, but has been powerless over district decisions due to emergency management. 

He said he saw no work done worth the $225,000 annual salary Earley was given, much less the settlement money.

Senator Coleman Young II agrees. He points to the fact Earley was emergency manager in Flint when the city switched water sources and then in Detroit Public Schools.

Under his leadership, teachers walked out fed up with working in buildings in such disrepair they didn’t meet code.

Earley responded to their concerns dismissively, telling 7 Action News, “Code violations are not new to Detroit Public Schools.”

Earley resigned from DPS effective February 29th.

“And this guy is now getting a golden parachute,” said Sen. Young (D-Detroit). “It is outrageous.”

The money is not coming from the district's budget, but from the state.

“The emergency manager law is just one in a long line of failed government experiments imposed on the people of Michigan. Cities and schools are left in worse shape than they were before the emergency managers came to town, and now taxpayers are left footing the bill for Earley’s payout. For shame,” said Senator David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights).