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Emmet County offers administrator job to fired GT county employee

A fired employee from Grand Traverse County has been offered the position of Emmet County administrator. Jennifer DeHaan served as deputy administrator for Grand Traverse County until the county's new administrator, Vicki Uppal, asked her to resign or be fired for “poor performance.”

DeHaan refused to resign, saying the county's issues with her were political and not about performance. She was fired last month.

Commissioners voted 5–2 to offer DeHaan the administrator position last Thursday.

Jonathan Scheel, vice chair of the Emmet County board of commissioners, voted in favor of DeHaan.

"She really shown like a star," says Scheel. "What she has done in the past couple years in Grand Traverse County was far and above the other candidates."

Scheel says he believes DeHaan was fired from Grand Traverse County for political reasons.

Commissioner John Stakoe cast one of the dissenting votes.

“I wanted somebody who I thought would ... be strong enough, experienced enough and understanding enough of the issues to be able to walk in and hit the ground running," says Stakoe. "I didn’t think she had any of that.” 

Stakoe says DeHaan's termination from Grand Traverse County was also concerning, and – while it could have been political – he says doesn't have enough information to determine that.

The county will review DeHaan’s criminal history, credit background and personnel files from past jobs before a final offer is made and contract negotiations begin.

The Emmet County administrator position was vacated after the county board fired Marty Krupa in May for an alleged inappropriate transfer of funds.

Morgan Springer is a contributing editor and producer at Interlochen Public Radio. She previously worked for the New England News Collaborative as the host/producer of NEXT, the weekly show which aired on six public radio station in the region.