Questions arise about Lansing airport CEO's departure

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - News 10 dug deeper into what led to the sudden departure of Capital Region International Airport CEO Wayne Sieloff.

The airport is funded by resident’s property taxes. Sieloff had two years before his contract was up.

Sieloff's latest contract started Jan. 22, 2018 and was supposed to last for four years ending in Dec. 2022 with an annual salary of around $150,000.

Sieloff and the board went into a closed door meeting on Sept. 30. According to the minutes, the meeting was to consider a personnel evaluation of the airport and president. It was then that Sieloff resigned.

News 10 reached out to Sieloff and the board to find out why.

"Unfortunately, I can't really comment on that. It was a resignation. Didn't go into much detail beyond that. So-first, one we don't comment on personnel issues period. But voluntary resignation, I guess, would best be posed to him," said John Shaski, Authority Board Chairman.

The separation agreement we got under the Freedom of Information Act details the exit plan as well as a $129,810 lump-sum payment equivalent to 40 weeks of pay and more than $14,000 in wages and benefits.

Some are questioning why he got this so-called “golden parachute”.

"Well that was a part of a separation agreement that we worked towards with the CEO, which tends to be typical as I understand it," said Shaski.

The agreement goes on to say that neither the airport nor Sieloff can sue or say negative or derogatory comments about each other and about specific employees.

The board chairman tells News 10 they plan to hire a firm to conduct a nationwide search for his replacement.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 16, unless a special meeting is called.

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