Cunningham Backs Out

By: Association Press
By: Association Press

Former Lansing Community College President Paula Cunningham said Monday she no longer is in the running for the top job at the Department of Labor and Economic Growth to avoid a potential conflict with state law.

Granholm said Feb. 1 that Cunningham was her choice to replace outgoing DLEG director David Hollister. Earlier the same day, Cunningham entered into a separation agreement with Lansing Community College.

Cunningham's severance package from the college is worth about $388,000. There are legal questions whether Cunningham would have been able to hold the state job while being paid by her former employer.

Cunningham had been with the college for 25 years and had served as its president since 2000.

Cunningham said she left the Lansing college on good terms. But strain had begun to appear with some members of the college's board of trustees, including concerns about the performance and management of some aspects of the school's information technology system.

Hollister announced his resignation from the department in January. The former Lansing mayor left state government to help run a new nonprofit organization aimed at promoting economic development in mid-Michigan.

The department is being run by interim director Robert Swanson, a former city of Lansing official.

Cunningham's appointment would have been subject to the advice and consent of the state Senate.

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