Bing and City Council fire Detroit city attorney

Jan 8, 2013

Mayor Dave Bing, with the support of six city council members, has ousted Detroit’s top city lawyer, Krystal Crittendon.

Crittendon, a controversial figure at City Hall, had been criticized by Bing for her opposition to Detroit’s consent agreement with the state.

Matt Helms of the Detroit Free Press has more on the firing:

City officials said Crittendon would be immediately removed as corporation counsel but would likely keep a job in the city’s law department. She could revert to a lawyer position within the department.

Council members Brenda Jones, JoAnn Watson and Kwame Kenyatta voted against the termination.

“Congratulations, Mr. Mayor,” Kenyatta said to Bing just after the vote.

“All appointees are at will,” Bing told the council of his decision, which he said was not for a specific cause except that “I wanted my own person appointed, and that’s what I intend to do.”

Crittendon told the Free Press that she thinks her firing was an unofficial condition agreed upon by Bing and the state that had to be met if the city was to continue receiving bond funds currently held in escrow by the state.

From the Freep:

“The role of a city lawyer is to make sure that the law is being followed and the city’s interests are being protected,” Crittendon said. “I’m really concerned for the city of Detroit, in that if a corporation counsel can be removed for doing her job, it’s going to have a chilling effect on future corporation counsels. I think the next corporation counsel would think twice before giving legal advice that the mayor or the council might not want to follow.”

Council members opposed to the ouster called the firing a “disgrace” and “a miscarriage of justice.”

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom