Mayor Bing convinces Detroit City Council to fire Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon

Detroit’s top attorney, Krystal Crittendon, was fired today after Mayor Dave Bing convinced Detroit City Council that she had to go.

Crittendon was a major force in fighting state intervention. She filed suit, for example, against Michigan late last year to oppose what she considered an illegal emergency manager law.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Bing argued Crittendon was hampering city and state efforts to save Detroit from bankruptcy, but she stayed in the position because the new city charter prevents the mayor from firing corporation counsel without city council approval.

Council’s decision shocked many observers because a majority of the council supported Crittendon until today.

“It’s clear that leadership is out of control,” Councilman Kwame Kenyatta, one of three council members to oppose the firing, said today. “Maybe it’s time for bankruptcy.”

It’s unknown why council members changed their minds, but one source said Snyder threatened to appoint an emergency manager if Crittendon continued on the job for fear that she would continue to file legal actions.
The two other council members who opposed the firing were Councilwomen JoAnn Watson and Brenda Jones.

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Steve Neavling is an investigative journalist and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Living on the city’s east side, Neavling explores corruption, civil liberties and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.    

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.