Detroit Building Authority names Clifton new director

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

The Detroit Building Authority on Thursday unanimously appointed longtime member Tyrone Clifton as its new director, according to the organization.

Clifton, a 48-year-old Detroit resident and 14-year veteran of the DBA, was nominated earlier this week by Mayor Mike Duggan and confirmed at the DBA board’s meeting Thursday. He will be paid $140,000 a year in his new role.

“I am honored for the opportunity to serve as director of the Detroit Building Authority,” Clifton said in a statement. “As a Detroiter, I’m proud to continue to build first class facilities for Detroit’s employees and work to remove blight from our neighborhoods.”

Clifton’s appointment appeared to clear up a potential conflict of interest highlighted in an audit released April 12 by the city’s Office of the Auditor General. The report criticized then-director of DBA David Manardo, who also held the office of Detroit’s chief operating officer.

Since the director of the building authority reports to the city’s COO, Manardo “in essence has authority of himself albeit in two different roles,” the report said.

The statement released Thursday by the DBA touched upon Manardo’s role with the organization.

“In October, 2015, David Manardo was promoted to the cabinet position of Group Executive of Operations, overseeing demolition and infrastructure initiatives across all city agencies,” DBA officials said in the statement. “Manardo continued to serve in a second position as DBA Director, doing both jobs. Clifton’s promotion will allow Manardo to focus all of his efforts on the Group Executive of Operations role.”

Manardo now will “focus all of his efforts on the Group Executive of Operations role,” DBA officials said.

Clifton’s rise to director follows years spent with the organization, including most recently as superintendent of capital projects and the city’s senior construction projects manager. In that role, he oversaw the completion of the $55 million Public Safety Headquarters on Third Street, as well as multiple recreation centers, police precincts and fire stations in the city.

As director, Clifton will supervise projects including the Department of Public Works Street Maintenance Facility, the Real Time Crime Center and the new 8th Police Precinct. He also will remain involved in the city’s demolition programs, officials said.

“Tyrone has done an excellent job in managing the building projects at the DBA,” Duggan said in a statement. “He has the experience and the leadership skills to do a great job running the Building Authority.”

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