Lansing City Council wants answers amid city attorney controversy

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) –  Members of the Lansing City Council say there are still “ethical” questions up in the air when it comes to Interim City Attorney Joseph Abood and his appointment.

Lansing City Council is searching for answers after learning Interim City Attorney Joseph Abood was given a $30,000 raise by mayor Virg Bernero’s administration.

The move also comes as the Lansing City Pulse reported Abood authorized at least $5,000 in payments and contracts to his former law firm.

“I am within my legal authority as Mayor to pay him, give him a raise because he was promoted, he is now running the department,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

But there are questions from Lansing City Council when it comes the timing of the $30,000 raise Mayor Bernero awarded to interim City Attorney Joseph Abood.

As well as Abood’s pay bump which was retro-active back to January 8, the same day former City Attorney Janene McIntyre’s leave began.

“It’ll be interesting to find out when he would do nine weeks of retroactive pay, especially simultaneously when you have two people you are paying at the same at the same position at the same time,” said Lansing City Council president Judi Brown Clarke.

McIntyre used the Family Medical Leave Act starting January 8.

At that time Abood was an assistant city attorney.

In late March Abood was named Interim City Attorney.

“His responsibilities changed significantly. He’s running the department, he’s responsible for the department, so he got a raise to go with the promotion and added responsibilities,” said Bernero.

Clarke says this issue isn’t settled.

The Lansing City Council is going to send questions to Mayor Bernero’s office by the end of the day Friday.

“Between all the questions related to the pay, to all the questions related to ethics, disclosure, we see that as one issue and so therefore when we are putting our questions together to ask the administration, they are coming as one body of questions,” said Clarke.

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