9 employees make 6-figure salaries at fast-growing Detroit Land Bank

Abandoned house

First in a series about the salaries of public officials. Today’s focus is on the Detroit Land Bank Authority. 

The Detroit Land Bank Authority is playing a larger role than ever in fighting blight, and that means more employees and bigger salaries.

Craig Fahle
Craig Fahle

The public entity recently added its ninth employee receiving a six-figure salary – Craig Fahle, the former host of WDET’s Craig Fahle Show, who now makes $120,000 a year.

According to records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the Motor City Muckraker has learned:

  • One of the highest-paid employees, Carrie Lewand-Monroe, is the daughter of Tom Lewand, former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party and Mayor Mike Duggan’s current group executive for jobs and economic growth. Lewand-Monroe is a senior advisor for the Land Bank, earning $135,000. She’s an attorney and previously served as executive director of the state’s Land Bank Fast Track Authority.
  • Some are former Detroit City Council staffers, including senior Land Bank attorney Marcel Hurt, who is paid $100,000 a year. Hurt served as chief of staff for former council President Saunteel Jenkins.
  • Another former council staffer is Rodney Liggons, who now manages policy and community engagement for the Land Bank for $53,000 a year. He worked for Detroit Councilman James Tate.
  • The highest-paid employees earn $140,000 a year. One of them is Land Bank Executive Director Richard Wiener, who served as chief of staff for former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The other is the Land Bank’s general counsel, Kevin Simowski, who is eligible for lifetime benefits after working at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
    Rick Wiener
    Rick Wiener
  • The Land Bank has 56 full-time employees, 34-part-timers and eight interns.

The political appointments aren’t unusual, especially since public sector experience is often a big advantage.

Fahle said the employees are vastly qualified and passionate about Detroit’s future.

“This is a great, high-caliber team,” Fahle told me. “Everyone is incredibly motivated.”

The Land Bank was created in 2008 but operated with minimal authority until recently.

The scope of work has increased dramatically as Mayor Mike Duggan embarks on an unprecedented assault on blight and abandonment, which are eroding the city’s neighborhoods. The public entity is tasked with overseeing the demolition of blighted houses and buildings and running a widely successful auction to put abandoned homes into the hands of new owners. The Land Bank also plans to seize drug houses and chronically blighted property.

“It’s a monumental task,” Fahle said. “We have a remarkably lean organization for what we are doing.”

The Land Bank sold more than 125 houses in auctions since May 5, collecting in excess of $2 million in sales. The homes ranged in price from $1,000 to $97,900.

To see a full list of the Land Bank’s responsibility, click here.

Last Name First Name Title Salary
Simowski Kevin General Counsel 140,000.00
Wiener Richard Executive Director 140,000.00
Lewand-Monroe Mary Senior Advisor 135,000.00
Mends-Cole Dekonti Deputy Director 135,000.00
Story-Stewart Michelle Chief Financial Officer 130,000.00
Fahle Craig Communications Director 120,000.00
Brady Michael Director, Policy & Communications Engagement 118,000.00
Linthorst-Homan Kim Deputy General Counsel 105,000.00
Hurt Marcel Senoir Staff Attorney 100,000.00
Cannon, Jr. Richard Property Disposition Manager 90,000.00
Delgado Martha Senior Project Manager 85,000.00
Vosburg Brian Property Disposition Manager 80,000.00
Moore Alicia Controller 80,000.00
Karamoko Jelani Staff Attorney 75,000.00
Camargo Rebecca Staff Attorney 70,000.00
Saxon, Jr. Robert Chief Architect & Sr. Construction Manager 70,000.00
Shollack Stephen Staff Attorney 70,000.00
Simon Michelle GIS/Data Analyst 70,000.00
Holman Gregory Data & Asset Management Specialist 68,000.00
Richardson Ericka Nuisance Abatement Program Coordinator 66,000.00
Zygmontowicz Heather Operations Manager 65,000.00
Earl Darryl Property Disposition Specialist 63,000.00
Linn Robert Senior Property Analyst 62,000.00
Truong John Project Manager 62,000.00
Baumeister Mary Property Disposition Specialist 60,000.00
Clement Mojisola Staff Attorney 60,000.00
Mieksztyn David GIS/Data Analyst 60,000.00
Adams Darnell Property Manager 55,000.00
Jamison Ebony Closing & Title Manager 55,000.00
Williams Frieda Office Manager 55,000.00
Shelton Kevin Junior Data Manager 54,000.00
Liggons Rodney Policy & Community Engagement 53,000.00
Brown David Property Disposition Specialist 52,500.00
Lindsey Juston I.T. Specialist 51,000.00
Dean Charity Policy & Community Engagement 50,000.00
Jackson Gina Property Disposition Specialist 50,000.00
Mattic Sharon Accountant II 50,000.00
Pace LaTonya Accountant I 45,000.00
Thomas Cynthia Human Resources Manager 45,000.00
Carlson Sarah Disposition Data Specialist 40,000.00
Cox Donald Investigations Manager 40,000.00

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.