Ford Motor pays $1.2 million to protect Bill Ford Jr.

By Laurie Bennett

March 24, 2010 at 8:35am picked up an interesting tidbit in a preliminary proxy filed yesterday by the Ford Motor Company.

The firm paid nearly $1.2 million in security costs, including home security, for board chairman William Clay Ford Jr. That’s 14 times the amount spent in 2006.

Back in the early 1990s, when I lived in a slightly less posh section of the Grosse Pointes, I would see him at the local coffee shop, sitting at a table, talking to a uniformed police officer. Maybe the officer was providing protection, but at the time, Henry’s great-grandson came across as a regular, if very wealthy guy, unworried about robbers or kidnappers.

William Clay Ford Jr.
William Clay Ford Jr.

What has changed? The SEC filing provides no specifics.

Crime in metro Detroit was high then, as now. There are certainly more angry autoworkers these days. Lions football fans might be more ornery.

And maybe Ford has more to protect.

Around the time that Bill Ford Jr. was stopping by the local coffee shop, his aunt, Josephine Clay Ford, donated a precious Van Gogh to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Before the museum took possession, the painting had hung at her home.

Getting a good night’s sleep with a Van Gogh in the house must be next to impossible.

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