Secret E-mails: Duggan helped state select Detroit's EM

Mike DugganMayoral candidate Mike Duggan has emphathically opposed the emergency manager – in public, that is.

But e-mails obtained by activist Robert Davis through the Freedom of Information Act show Duggan, the former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, played a role in the selection process of an emergency manager to take over the city’s finances.

In fact, while Duggan was running for mayor, he asked Snyder’s office to hold off on appointing an emergency manager until after the November election.

Records also show Duggan, a former Wayne County prosecutor, was to meet with the members of the Financial Review Team, which would be a violation of the Open Meetings Act if a majority of the team was present.

In the meantime, Duggan was campaigning on an anti-emergency manager platform.

But the lies don’t stop there. While Gov. Rick Snyder repeatedly told Detroiters he was not sold yet on the need for state intervention, the governor and his team were already wrapping up negotiations with Kevyn Orr, a turnaround expert and bankruptcy attorney who was hired March 15

“Governor already asking me if you are ready to start yet,” Snyder adviser Richard Baird said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to Orr.

E-mails show Duggan also likely knew about the selection of Orr more than a month before the appointment.

So what gives?

Duggan said he was tapped because of his experience turning around DMC and still maintains he never supported the appointment of an emergency manager – a position that contradicts his e-mail correspondence.

“It indicates I was furiously lobbying not to get them to appoint an emergency manager. I have said this repeatedly,” Duggan told the Detroit News. “As you can see they … did it anyway.”

Records obtained by Motor City Muckraker earlier this year also show Mayor Bing played a role in shaping the emergency manager law.

These revelations are likely to further drive a wedge between the city and state.

“This makes me sick,” Detroiter Jane Ellison told me in an e-mail this morning. “They’re all liars. Every one of them.”

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.