You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, May 21, 2012 : 6:10 a.m.

University of Michigan's top legal official gets bonus as she resigns to teach

By Paula Gardner

Suellyn Scarnecchia will receive a $50,000 stipend and a semester off as she resigns her position as the University of Michigan top legal official to return to the Law School to teach, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

The pay is in addition to her $312,000 salary, which she will retain until May 2013 - a situation that is reported to be different from a 2008 letter to her, outlining that her pay would revert to a "university-year salary," according to the report.

Scarnecchia's resignation takes effect May 31.

U-M officials confirmed her move on March 28 as they launched internal - and later external - investigations into how Scarnecchia's office handled a child porn investigation on campus.

Officials "emphasized Scarnecchia’s decision was her own and not related to the controversy involving a lawyer within the Office of the General Counsel who did not notify police of the child pornography found on U-M Hospital resident physician Stephen Jenson’s computer," according to an Ann report.

Read the Free Press report.



Wed, May 23, 2012 : 7:47 a.m.

$312,000 salary. My mind is still reeling.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

Wow. I have worked at UM for over 30 years, and that bonus is still more than my yearly salary. Way to go elites...


Wed, May 23, 2012 : 7:46 a.m.

That bonus will almost pay for one Ann Arbor City firefighter.

Basic Bob

Tue, May 22, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

Mark, at least you can sleep at night.

Michigan Reader

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

Mark, you need to move up after 30 years at the U.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Glad that UM is sending a loud and clear signal that any management decisions that do not take allegations of child pornography, child abuse or some other Penn State type of misconduct seriously will not be tolerated.

Michigan Man

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

Academic 1% elite doing what they know best - blowing off the normal, average, everyday and run of the mill working folks.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

She also gets a semester off to spend that 50k. Wrong in so many ways!


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

In the private sector, if an employee screws up the are fired without further pay. I really resent this individual who screwed up will be paid a six digit salary and in addition receive a stipend. No wonder tuition continues to rise. This is totally disgusting.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

I guess Rush Limbaugh is right when he stated that "failure only enhances a Liberal/Progressive Resume"! Way to go Suellyn, you are now a success!

say it plain

Tue, May 22, 2012 : 12:39 a.m.

"Heck of a job Brownie" comes to mind lol... But when do facts interfere with the right-wing noise machine? The more divisive bull you try to get past the masses, for the Rush Limbaugh types, the more successful you become, apparently :-)


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

I thought she was employed with the U of M, not Wayne County?

Ron Granger

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

'It's all about personal morality and accountability - not "how much can I get and when?"' Obviously you didn't read the part of the article that explains she is a lawyer.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

Ms. Sarnecchia should be ashamed to accept this money. Obviously she's not aware of the staying power of the Internet. More than one person will remember this - I wonder if she'll look back sometime in the future and wonder "hey, maybe I shouldn't have taken those people for what I did, even though I was legally entitled to it." Some peoples' careers never recover from something like this. It's all about personal morality and accountability - not "how much can I get and when?"

Linda Peck

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11:44 a.m.

And the reason for her $50,000 payment as she makes a personal choice decision to leave her job? Ridiculous! and we are paying for it! Who is making these horrible financial decisions?


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

President Coleman and her toadies on the Board of Regents. Vote for reform

Nick Danger

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

And the University keeps crying that they need more state aid.So much for trying to tighten the budget and keeping cost down

The Black Stallion3

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

This is all proving just how corrupt the UofM has become. We need an external investigation into the practices of this public university.

Gyll Stanford

Tue, May 22, 2012 : 5:05 a.m.

The university mindset of this "solution" to this problem is the reason a university education costs so much. Big education will be the next bubble to burst. The symptoms are starting to show. College grads in deep debt with no jobs in sight. Student loans no longer discharged in bankruptcy. But on the other hand do they have a job for me I could voluntary resign with those terms?


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

House Bill 5000, which was proposed by Rep. Genetiski, does just that. It sets up a commission to study the governance of the State Universities but the UM has been actively lobbying against any such study. I wonder why?


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11:32 a.m.

Can someone tell me -- even without the in-hard-times (for so many) $50,000.00 bonus -- can someone justify a $150.00/per HOUR salary? That is, what does one really do with that kind of cash flow?


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11:14 a.m.

Isn't it curious that the UM did not name either of her deputies as interim General Counsel?


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11:14 a.m.

Easy come, Easy go, As long as it is....... The taxpayers dough.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11:11 a.m.

Can you spell "hush money"?


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

@GeeWhiz- Her contract expires in 2013 and the University is under no obligation to renew it anyway. Administrative positions are assigned and never guaranteed even under tenure. Thus, they have no need to give her an incentive to quit. At most it would be considered a settlement so that she would not file a wrongful termination suit but she said that she was voluntarily resigning so she should have no grounds for such a suit anyway. It is really a formal or informal form of a settlement agreement, which may include a confidentiality clause.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

I wouldn't call it hush money. It appears to be more of an "incentive to quit" money.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11 a.m.

Result from the hospital child porn situation? The head of the hospital attorney's office is also leaving. What a coincidence.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 11 a.m.

If this is normal, as the U says in the Freep story, why wasn't it included in her offer letter in 2008?

The Black Stallion3

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 10:56 a.m.

This just gives me a warm feeling all over knowing our tax dollars are being spent like this on a bunch of yuppies.


Wed, May 23, 2012 : 7:41 a.m.

Just thinking too, how much Pell Grant money goes toward UofM tuition which is used to fund these salaries. Is the Pell Grant not tax payer funded?

The Black Stallion3

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Excuse me but this is a "Public" University and I do care what my tax dollars are going to in this case.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

There are little to 0 of your tax dollars involved. Do a little reading on how few of your tax dollars are involved in what the University does.

Homeland Conspiracy

Mon, May 21, 2012 : 10:47 a.m.

$50,000.00 to quit a The ppl at the top receive money when they quit a job, while the ppl at the bottom get escorted from the building.


Mon, May 21, 2012 : 10:44 a.m.

Wow. If I screw up in my job, I get a pink slip and an escort off the premises. If you are university aristocracy and screw up, you get paid handsomely to leave, you keep getting you salary for another year although you are no longer doing that job, and you get to assert denial that your departure had anything to do with your screwing up. Then you get to go back and teach others paying exorbitant grad school tuition how to do all that too! As the old song goes: "Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you try..." or should that be "lie" instead of "try"?