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Wed June 13, 2012
Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Detroit consent agreement
Judge William Collette of Ingham County Circuit Court dismissed a lawsuit by Detroit's top lawyer, Krystal Crittendon, this morning. She was challenging the city's consent agreement with the state. The judge ruled she didn't have standing to bring the case. We've been updating this post today.
Update 5:05 p.m.
Governor Rick Snyder said he’s also happy the judge threw out a legal challenge to the consent agreement the state made with the City of Detroit. The agreement was made to avoid the appointment of an emergency manager and to prevent the city from running out of money.
"We’ve been continuing to work forward on our projects from the state perceptive while all this has gone on because we want to make sure we’re fulfilling our part of this," said Snyder. "It was a Detroit internal issue. I hope they continue to work hard to resolve their issue so they can continue to work hard to resolve their issues so they can work better between the mayor city council and corporate counsel."
Detroit's top lawyer argued the consent agreement was null and void because the state owes Detroit money. The state treasury denies that.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says he’s happy a “distracting” court case brought by his own city attorney was dismissed Wednesday and the city can now follow through on its consent agreement with the state.
Bing said he was “not happy with” his corporation counsel’s decision to push the legal challenge—but insists that’s all in the past now.
“We need to get on with running the city," Bing said. "The city is still in a crisis. And we can’t have all of these distractions and think we’re going to bring the city back.”
The first steps: convening the city’s nine-member financial advisory board. That’s a key provision of the consent agreement. Bing says they’ll meet for the first time Friday.
MPRN's Rick Pluta spoke with Michael Hodge, the lawyer who argued the case on Mayor Bing's behalf. Hodge said if the case went forward, it could have forced the city into bankruptcy this week.
From Pluta's report:
“The judge understood that financially, the stabilization agreement between the city and the state was an essential agreement to go forward and to continue to address the financial issues involving the city,” said Hodge.
Detroit Corporate Counsel Krystal Crittendon argued the agreement is not valid because the state owes the city millions of dollars. The judge’s decision does not address the question. The state Treasury says Detroit is not owed any money.
Judge William Collette of Ingham County Circuit Court dismissed the lawsuit by Detroit's top lawyer Krystal Crittendon challenging the city's consent agreement with the state of Michigan this morning.
MPRN's Rick Pluta reports Judge William Collette said it was obvious Crittendon could not go forward with her lawsuit without the support of Mayor Bing or city council. He said Crittendon did not have the authority to file the lawsuit on her own.
Collette also said Detroit's consent agreement with the state of Michigan is in place and people will just have to live with it.
Mayor Dave Bing is holding a press conference at 11:15 a.m. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek will be there.
And Gov. Risk Snyder will meet with members of the media at noon today. Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith will bring us reaction from Mr. Snyder