Judge orders Snyder administration to produce records re: EM hire

Jun 13, 2013

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration intends to appeal a judge’s order to reveal the names of all the candidates he considered as potential emergency managers for Detroit.

A lawsuit claims the hiring process violated the state’s open meetings law.

The judge ordered the state to turn over e-mails and other records related to the search that culminated in hiring Kevyn Orr to steer Detroit out of a financial crisis. The lawsuit claims the decision was made well before a state board publicly interviewed and voted to hire Orr.

Sara Wurfel is the governor’s press secretary. She says the governor had an obligation to vet the people who might be hired to steer the city out of a financial crisis.

Wurfel says that the administration will challenge the judge’s order because it extends beyond whether the state’s open meetings law was violated.

“It seems like a fishing expedition. It’s gone far beyond that,” said Wurfel.

The administration claims the e-mails, records, and names of other potential candidates are protected by executive privilege. Wurfel says revealing the names of other candidates would also discourage people from volunteering for positions serving the public.

 "Because it’s beyond the merits of the case that’s actually being considered right now," she explained. "If there were other people that were going through the process, how does that actually demonstrate, have anything to do with the case of whether Open Meetings Act was violated or not."