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Judge’s ruling that the Airport violated the Open Meetings Act – December 16, 2011

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Colombo ruled today that the Wayne County Airport Authority violated the Open Meetings Act in the CEO hiring process. The Judge ruled that the Airport violated the law by holding non-public interviews of the candidates for the CEO position ultimately obtained by Turkia Mullin. The Judge entered an injunction against the Airport prohibiting them from violating the Open Meetings Act in their upcoming CEO hiring process and also ordered them to pay plaintiff Robert Davis’s attorney fees.

The ruling has no impact on Turkia Mullin’s employment contract with the authority; she was just one of the many candidates in a hiring procedure that Judge Colombo today ruled violated the law. The plaintiff did not ask for an invalidation of her contract nor did the Judge order it.

Ms. Mullin also has a lawsuit against the Airport, claiming that it violated the Open Meetings Act by holding a closed meeting to discuss her termination after she objected and stated on the record that she wanted an open meeting. The ruling today provides support for Ms. Mullin’s claim that the Airport board does not abide by the requirements of the Open Meetings Act.

Ms. Mullin is pleased with the Court’s recognition that the Airport must follow the law. Ms. Mullin will be filing her breach of employment contract claim shortly. In that case, she will claim that the Airport is obligated to pay the remainder of the three-year term of her contract because it fired her without cause.