Chamberlin: Offers to Ficano aides were "bad professional practice"

March 25, 2012

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano promised to boost the pensions of three highly paid aides by including generous severance payments into the final calculation, according to a story Sunday by the Detroit Free Press.

John Chamberlin, professor of political science and public policy, told the Free Press that Ficano was "gaming the system" by offering incentives to selective employees.

"The fact that it's done selectively, that it's done for the inner circle, and the fact that it's not just a lump sum ... and hidden away in these various ways, that strikes me as just bad professional practice," Chamberlin told the Free Press.

According to the authors, "Chamberlin said boosting some employees' final average compensation—which in turn bumps up their pension payments—amounts to a 'huge amount of money to give away to reduce the on-the-books wage costs for the county. It's just hard to imagine that makes any sense.'"