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Flint city administrator may have been wrongfully terminated

The city administrator for Flint, Michigan, was recently fired. However, she now has an attorney who says that she was wrongfully terminated, and she's not giving comments on the situation herself. The situation may end up in court.

The problem springs from a contract that she signed, which paid her $140,000 per year and ran for five years, giving her a total of $700,000. She was fired before that contract was up.

The administrator was fired by Flint's mayor. Technically, this is a power that the mayor holds, as she's allowed to make those decisions. She needs to have backing, though. The Flint City Council, along with the state oversight board, has to sign off on the firing. Neither one did so, potentially making the move illegal.

The change, which was announced on the 12 of February, is part of a larger restructuring plan. Others who are going to be replaced include the chiefs for the police department and the fire department.

The administrator had not originally been hired by the mayor, but by the emergency manager who was put in place. He is no longer serving in that capacity, but the chairman of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees commented on the matter and implied that the manager did not like the city officials. He said the matter should be decided in court because the city had been handcuffed by the emergency manager's contract.

This is clearly a complex issue, and it shows how important it is for people who sign employment contracts to know what legal rights those contracts give them and when and how they can be fired.

Source: MLive, "State oversight board punts on fate of ex-Flint city administrator," Dominic Adams, Feb. 26, 2016

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