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Ex-CEO Of Firm Hired To Help With Detroit Recovery Sues Over Firing

PONTIAC (WWJ) - The co-founder of a consulting firm that received millions of dollars for its role in Detroit's recovery from bankruptcy has been fired, but is fighting back.

WWJ's Charlie Langton reports Van Conway is suing his former company, Conway Mackenzie, alleging that he was improperly thrown off the board and removed as CEO — all while he was hospitalized.

Conway also alleges that, toward the end of 2015, his total compensation was illegally slashed by 80 percent, that he received a performance bonus of $0.00 (which Conway claims should have been as much as $700,000), all before his was formally let go from the company last month.

In a lawsuit filed in Oakland County's 6th Circuit Court, Conway alleges the board of directors and others at the firm breached various agreements.

In the complaint, Conway claims the directors "embarked on a series of wrongful actions" while he was on a medical leave of absence from the firm, "lying in a hospital bed, heavily sedated, trying to recover from a double knee replacement surgery and the resultant life-threatening cardiac complications that unexpectedly followed."

[View a copy of the complaint]

Conway Mackenzie — a financial and management consulting firm specializing in turnaround and crisis management — received over $17 million for work it did during Detroit's bankruptcy.

Van Conway co-founded the firm 28 years ago.

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