Cunningham Backs Out

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

Gov. Granholm's appointee to direct the Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG), former LCC President Paula Cunningham, has withdrawn her name from consideration. Cunningham taking the job may have been illegal.

Granholm nominated Cunningham to head the department back in early February, right after Cunningham announced she was leaving Lansing Community College.

Cunningham's departure came amid tension between Cunningham and leaders on the LCC Board of Trustees.

Her nomination to lead DLEG may have been derailed when Republican State Senate leaders told the governor that as head of the department, Cunningham would have some control over community college funding.

And since she is still technically on staff at LCC, they say Cunningham would be overseeing Cunningham Backs Out herself.

But Cunningham says she became aware of a possible legal conflict roughly a week and a half ago. She says she didn't know Republicans had sent a legal opinion on the matter to the governor.

We received a copy of the letter Cunningham sent to the governor Monday around noon. It states:

"Both the law and my separation agreement raise questions about whether i can legally serve as director."

"It is certainly not your practice, nor mine, to operate in questionable areas," Cunningham wrote.

And so she withdrew her name.

Acting DLEG Director Bob Swanson will remain in that role until a new director can be named.

Granholm was not available for further comment Monday.

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