Juggler: City Finance Director Worked for 3 Suburbs at Same Time, and Still Serves 2



We feel busy just reading about accountant Carl Johnson, who sounds like one very active public servant.

The Canton man may be the most unusual municipal employee in Michigan. He has held down three high-level positions in three different cities at the same time — and collected hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the process.He's finance director for two Metro Detroit cities, a workload that was heavier two months ago. Michigan Capitol Confidential managing editor Tom Gantert has details at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy blog: 

Johnson is currently under contract as the finance director for the city of River Rouge. He’s also the finance director for the city of Novi.

In February, he even held a third job as the finance director for the city of Oak Park, though he left that job at the end of the month, according to City Manager Erik Tungate.

An accountant who worked for 15 years for the regional accounting firm Plante Moran, Johnson has now applied for the position of controller for Northfield Township. According to the minutes from a March board meeting, he’s now a finalist for the job. If he’s picked, Johnson will back to working three full-time positions.

Gantert tried to reach Johnson, who "didn’t respond to an email seeking comment," the post says. "Two of his bosses did respond and said he was a high-quality employee and that they were aware of his duties in other municipalities."

Novi's city manager tells the blogger: "When you hire good people they will be in demand."

The jobs-juggling appointee commented tersely 17 months ago when the Detroit Free Press reported that he managed finances for Novi and Oak Park simultaneously "for a combined salary topping $200,000."

“I work 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. five nights a week,” Johnson told reporter Daniel Bethencourt by phone. “There is no story.” 

-- Alan Stamm

Read more:  Capitol Confidential

Email Signup
Send us your email address and we’ll send you the best of Detroit!