Mayor Bing quietly slips out of town, makes his communications expert the acting mayor

spiritofdetroitDetroit, you have a new mayor.

While out of town on an unannounced trip, Mayor Bing quietly transferred powers of the city to his communications director, Bob Warfield, who is the acting mayor of Detroit until Bing says so.

Warfield, a former executive at WDIV-TV news, was hired to revamp the city’s two cable stations.

How did a newsman end up running a city of 700,000 people? We couldn’t reach Mayor Warfield, who was convicted of cocaine and marijuana in 2002, for comment. His cell phone voicemail was full.

But his assistant, city spokesman Anthony Neely, insists the switch “has no meaning at all” and is required by the charter when the mayor is out of town.

Since Bing’s chief of staff and deputy mayor have bailed from the administration, the mayor is running out of municipal experts.

So he’s chosen his expert in communications to run the city’s $1.1 billion budget.

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Steve Neavling, who lives on the city’s east side, is an investigative journalist, a freelance reporter for Reuters and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Neavling explores corruption, Detroit’s unsung heroes 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.

  • Very interesting article!

    When Bing transfers authority, does he always assign it to the same person? Why or why not?

    How long was Bing out of town? Hours? Days? Is he still gone?

  • tim burke

    as a person who works in the addiction recovery field i find it low brow to highlight some ones addiction this is way out of context, it has no revealence to the situation at all addiction is a treatable medical illness. when a person gets treatment for this particular illness they can recover.also relapse is part of the illness. if the bringing up of some ones illness were reavelent then why not highlight all newsworthy stories with anecdotes of everyones illness’s

    • Dave Armstrong

      What Tim said!!

  • Bing has a communications director? Never woulda thought.

  • Geoffrey L. Garfield

    The dude got caught sniffin’ & tokin’, so if it’s true, no problem, not a cheap shot. Go get ‘im Steve!

    • Dave Armstrong

      It was 11 years ago——-not relevant!! Let it go…….

    • Dave Armstrong

      Geoffrey L.——–anybody on contemporary media who uses a middle initial is immediately suspect!

  • Dave Armstrong

    Come on, Steve!

    If this story is true (and so far you are the only one reporting it), congratulations on a great scoop! But stooping to a remark like this is not worthy of your journalistic integrity: “who was convicted of cocaine and marijuana in 2002”.

    Please stick to the relevant facts.

    • Steve Neavling

      That’s fair. I appreciate the feedback, Dave.