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Wayne County, Michigan

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Wayne County is one of 83 counties in Michigan. Its population as of 2010 was 1,820,584.[1] Detroit is in Wayne County.

2012 budget

Wayne County's total budget was $2.11 billion in the fiscal year ending 2012.[2]

Budget expenditures

Legislative $9,483,517
Judicial $209,261,887
General Government $515,876,845
Public Safety $358,122,553
Public Services $268,336,372
Health and Welfare $752,548,279
TOTAL $2,113,629,453[2]


The county's retirement system was underfunded by $473 million as of fiscal year 2012.[2]

Unfunded pension liabilities

Wayne County faced more than $600 million in 2012 to cover the deficits in a county pension plan. An audit showed that Wayne County's pension plan had only 60 percent of the cash it would need to cover projected monthly checks for retirees in the next 30 years. This was the lowest percentage for a major public employee pension plan in Michigan in 2012.[3]

As of October 1, 2007, Wayne County had over $800 million in unfunded liabilities for "other post-employment benefits."[2]


Wayne County spent $320,000 on lobbying the federal government in 2010.[4] In 2008, Wayne County reported $300,000 spent on lobbying the federal government.[4]

Public employees

Elected officials

City commissioners

District[5] Name
1 Timothy Killeen
2 Jewel Ware
3 Martha G. Scott
4 Ilona Varga
5 Irma Clark-Coleman
6 Burton Leland
7 Alisha Bell
8 Diane Webb
9 Laura Cox
10 Shannon G. Price
11 Kevin McNamara
12 Richard LeBlanc
13 Gary Woronchak
14 Raymond Basham
15 Joseph Palamara


See also: Wayne County employee salaries

In the news

FBI investigations

In October 2011, Bob Ficano, the County Executive, was served with subpoenas by the FBI for records related to "pay to play" allegations. Constituents felt forced to contribute to designated "charities" that employed friends of his, and his office authorized a $200,000 severance payment to Turkia Awada Mullin, an employee who resigned. After local media reported these issues to the public, Mullin agreed to return the money, and gave the county a check for $135,900, the total after taxes.[6][7] The FBI also investigated the payment and other city contracts.

During a special meeting on October 31, 2011, the Wayne County Airport Authority announced the termination of Turkia Mullin as CEO of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. Many said that Mullin was performing her duties "per usual" for the county and that the board was actually at fault.[8] Mullin planned to sue for the termination, saying that she never violated her contract.[9][8] Additionally, three aides were suspended for their roles in the Mullin payout.[10]

Shortly after Mullin's termination, Thomas Naughton was selected by the Airport Board as Interim CEO until a permanent replacement could be announced. Naughton's history with the Wayne County Airport Authority extends back to 2002. He served as both Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.[11]

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Michigan county websites
Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Permits, zoning
Public records
Local taxes
County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

The good

  • The current budget is available. Budgets are archived to fiscal year 2006-2007.[12]
  • Meeting schedules, agendas and minutes are available.[13]
  • Contact information (including phone numbers and individual e-mail addresses) is available for elected officials.[14][15]
  • E-mail addresses and phone numbers are provided for county departments and administrative officials.[13]
  • Building and zoning information is available and includes permit application kits and instruction manuals.[16]
  • Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports and audit reports are published. CAFRs are archived to fiscal year 2004 and audit reports are archived to fiscal year 2007.[13]
  • Executed contracts are available as PDFs. Rules regarding purchasing and contracts are also posted.[17]
  • Lobbying information is available.[18]
  • Tax information is available, including an online payment option.[13]
  • A FOIA request form is available online and the public records coordinator is identified.[19]

External links


  1. U.S. Census Bureau, "Quick Facts," accessed December 23, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Official Wayne County Website, "FY 2011-2012 Adopted Budget," accessed October 20, 2011
  3. Detroit Free Press, "Wayne County taxpayers on hook for $600M as generous pensions drain fund," June 21, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 Open Secrets, "Wayne County," accessed December 23, 2013
  5. Official Wayne County Website, "Commissioners," accessed December 23, 2013
  6. Detroit Free Press, "Turkia Awada Mullin repays $135,900 of her retracted $200,000 severance," October 27, 2011
  7. Detroit Free Press, "Robert Ficano on FBI subpoenas: 'There is nothing that is going to come up,'" Oct. 19, 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 Detroit Free Press, "Jeff Gerritt: Airport board bungled the hiring -- and firing -- of Turkia Mullin," November 1, 2011
  9. Detroit Free Press, "A statement from ousted Detroit airport CEO Turkia Awada Mullin," November 1, 2011
  10. Detroit Free Press, "Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano suspends a third aide in widening scandal," October 28, 2011
  11. WXYZ News, "Metro Airport's board votes to fire CEO Turkia Mullin; taxpayers may end up paying the price," October 31, 2011
  12. Official Wayne County Website, "Budget Information," accessed December 4, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Official Wayne County Website, "Transparency in Government," accessed December 4, 2014
  14. Official Wayne County Website, "Wayne County Commission - Contact," accessed December 4, 2014
  15. Official Wayne County Website, "Wayne County Executive - Contact," accessed December 4, 2014
  16. Official Wayne County Website, "Construction Permit Office," accessed December 4, 2014
  17. Official Wayne County Website, "Contracts," accessed December 4, 2014
  18. Official Wayne County Website, "Lobbyist Information," accessed December 4, 2014
  19. Official Wayne County Website, "FOIA Request," accessed December 4, 2014