News Story

94 Hours A Week: Presumed Load For This Financial Manager Of Three Michigan Cities

He’s collecting six-figure salaries from two of those metro-area municipalities

When the village of Lake Orion hired Carl Johnson to be its finance director/treasurer, it made his status as a municipal employee exceptional.

Johnson is now the finance director for three separate municipal governments in southeastern Michigan. He is also listed as the finance director and chief financial officer for the city of Novi and finance director for the city of River Rouge.

Johnson’s hiring for the Lake Orion position was approved June 25 by the village council. According to the village’s website, Johnson gets $23.34 per hour as the finance director and can put in up to 29 hours a week.

According to public records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, between the time Johnson started in June and the end of July, he collected $1,752 from Lake Orion. Novi paid Johnson an annual salary of $120,100 in 2017. In that same year, he collected an annual salary of $150,000 from the city of River Rouge, according to city records.

In 2017, while already getting paid to be the finance director at Novi and River Rouge, Johnson applied for but did not get the controller position at Northfield Township.

This is not the first time Johnson has held jobs at three local governments. Before taking the River Rouge position in 2017, he was the finance director for the city of Oak Park. There was an overlap of a few weeks when he began the River Rouge job and quit the Oak Park job.

Based on his hourly rate for Lake Orion and his total pay there for the months of June and July, Johnson appears to have actually put in about 14 hours per week for that village. At that rate, and assuming that a six-figure municipal salary is based on working 40 hours a week, Johnson would be expected to put in a total of 94 hours per week in all three jobs. The figure could go as high as 109 hours per week if he routinely put in the 29-hour maximum for Lake Orion.

Johnson worked as an accountant for 15 years at Plante Moran, where, among other things, he provided financial services for municipalities that had contracts with the accountancy firm. In the past, Johnson’s municipal employers have said he was a high-quality employee and they were very satisfied with his performance.

Johnson didn't respond to an email seeking comment.