A fine example of why secret settlements are always a bad idea…

See, here in Wayne County, Mich., they swept this little mess under the rug several years ago:

A former Wayne County mental health director — fired after claiming County Executive Robert Ficano improperly dumped political appointees on her payroll — could collect an extra $1 million in pension benefits under a confidential settlement made in 2004 and revealed Friday.

The county was forced to unseal the details because of a labor activist’s lawsuit.

County officials said they can’t calculate the value of the deal given to Patricia Kukula Chylinski because it’s a pension.

“We won’t know that until she dies,” said Ficano spokeswoman Brooke Blackwell.

But former Auditor General Brendan Dunleavy said if she has a typical lifespan, the deal is worth just less than $1 million.

So, any way you want to slice this, the county cuts a deal — in secret — sweetening the pension of an employee fired for speaking up about what she perceived as an injustice. Would the same deal have been cut, had it been made public? I’m doubtful. Just another cost of secrecy….


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