muckraker report

Muckraker Alert: Road to bankruptcy paved in secrets, lies

This report is based on hundreds of public records and more than a dozen interviews with state officials and former aides to Mayor Bing. Some of this has been published, some not. This is the whole narrative. 

State and local leaders conspired to plunge Detroit into the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy in a series of surreptitious meetings that began soon after Mayor Dave Bing was elected to his first full term in 2010, the Motor City Muckraker has learned.

In early 2011, newly elected Gov. Rick Snyder and his executive team invited Bing and his aide, Kirk Lewis, to private brainstorming sessions. The topic – devising a strict emergency manager law that would allow an appointed official to break union contracts and privatize services in financially struggling municipalities.

The private sessions, which the mayor and governor had denied took place, marked the beginning of two years’ of secret meetings intended to deceive Detroiters, city workers and other stakeholders about the prospect of a financial takeover and bankruptcy, calling into question whether authorities ever intended to bargain in good faith, a requirement of Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Involved was a surprising array of local and state politicians, including the governor, Treasurer Andy Dillon, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, mayoral candidate Mike Duggan, former Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown and a host of others.

Gov. Snyder finds partner in Bing

Bing and Gov. Snyder hit it off immediately. In early 2011, they agreed the city couldn’t dig out of its debt without state intervention, but neither would say that publicly for nearly a year.

Even Bing wanted to be the emergency manager, former city and state officials said.

Bing and his staff “worked with stakeholders to ensure that Public Act 4 (emergency manager law) contained all necessary provisions to accomplish the goals of the strategy, which included Mayor Bing being named emergency manager for the city of Detroit,” according to a whistleblower suit filed by former mayoral aide Rochelle Collins, who received a quick $200,000 payout to prevent further discovery in the case.

Responding to questions from Motor City Muckraker, Bing acknowledged he met early on with the governor but had no hand in “crafting Public Act 4.”

“Obviously, I met with the governor on several occasions about issues here in the city,” Bing told us. “My job is to protect the city in every way possible. That’s what I did. It was the right thing to do.”

Nevertheless, Bing plowed forward with a plan to establish the basis for state intervention – a $1.7 million Ernst & Young report that showed Detroit was on the verge of running out of money. In October 2011, the mayor violated the Open Meetings Act by gathering privately with the City Council to discuss the report and its impact on the city’s future.

“This was a setup from the beginning,” said activist Robert Davis, who obtained damaging emails that showed state and local leaders cooked up plans for Detroit’s future behind closed doors. “Bankruptcy was the plan since January, and they made deliberate attempts to keep that information from the public.”

To hide his involvement, Bing communicated with Lansing officials through a private email operated by Sue Ray, an administrative assistant who told the governor’s team that she was a “trusted confidante” of the mayor’s and wanted to “stay below the radar.”

The ringleader of the clandestine meetings was Richard Baird, a longtime trusted associate of Snyder who maintains a low profile and is paid by a controversial nonprofit foundation called the NERD Fund.

Mayoral candidate Mike Duggan gets involved

In January, Baird donated $2,500 to Duggan’s mayoral campaign, making him one of the top donors. Duggan privately advised state officials on how best to handle the financial takeover and said he’d be a supportive partner of an emergency manager, if elected.

Duggan also is a close friend of Treasurer Dillon, who sought out the mayoral candidate for advice on state intervention. Duggan was to meet privately with members of the Financial Review Team, which would have violated the Open Meetings Act if a majority of the team was present. It’s unclear whether that meeting ever took place.

But publicly, Duggan emphasized that he was strongly opposed to an emergency manager, never mentioning his role in the process.

The former Detroit Medical Center CEO said he was tapped because of his experience turning around DMC, and he still he was “furiously lobbying not to get them to appoint of an emergency manager.” What he didn’t say was, he lobbied against the appointment until after the election.

“It has become painfully clear that Detroiters were sold on the false hope that bankruptcy would be the last resort, while all along, bankruptcy was always the desired and singular option,” mayoral candidate and frontrunner Benny Napoleon said. “As public officials, if they believed they were doing the right thing on behalf of the electorate, they should have had the courage to make the case for an unpopular decision, not conspire to dupe the voters because they thought we would never find out.”

More closed-door meetings 

As the plot unfolded behind closed doors, five to six city council members met with Dillon and other state leaders. The council was given a coded threat: Work with us on state intervention or we won’t need you.

And so a majority of the council members chose their jobs over public pledges to fight state intervention. While the rhetoric at the council table was decidedly anti-emergency manager, five of its nine members approved critical measures that helped pave the way for state intervention. The council even supported hiring Jones Day, the law firm where Orr worked before becoming an emergency manager.

But no one was more helpful than council President Pro Tem Gary Brown, who often met regularly with state officials and led the drive for drumming up support for state intervention. While Brown still publicly maintained that he opposed the appointment of an emergency manager, he and the state were talking about ways to make the EM transition an easy one.

On July 1, Brown resigned from his council position to accept a $225,000-a-year job working for Orr. By contrast, the mayor is paid about $150,000.

The fix was in

Most of the deception began in November 2012, soon after voters rejected Public Act 4, the emergency manager bill crafted by Snyder. Despite the public’s opposition to state intervention, Snyder’s team was quietly searching for a bankruptcy expert to take over Detroit’s finances.

But in public, Snyder and Treasurer Dillon were still insisting that state intervention was by no means a certainty and appointed a six-member review team in December to determine whether an emergency manager was the best choice.

Behind closed doors, Snyder was hunting for bankruptcy experts and found Orr’s law firm, Jones Day, one of the most renowned bankruptcy experts in the U.S.

On Jan. 31, a Jones Day attorney advised Snyder that bankruptcy clearly was the top choice. But Orr expressed concern that the new EM law looked like it was tailored for a Chapter 9 filing – a position that Snyder has publicly denied.

State officials reassured Orr that the state, along with select Detroit leaders, were engaged in a PR campaign to warm Detroiters to the idea of emergency management. The idea: Don’t mention bankruptcy, pension cuts or debilitating budget reductions. Stay positive.

On Feb.12, Snyder’s team sent Orr a contract and urged him to sign it as soon as possible. On the same day, Dillon and Snyder assured the public – again – that no decision has been made on whether an emergency manager would be the best choice for Detroit.

“Governor already asking me if you can start yet,” Baird wrote that day, saying “our folks are already behaving as if you accepted the job.”

Never mind that the financial review team was still a week from filing its report, which Snyder insisted would be the basis for his decision on whether to appoint an emergency manager, a move that would impact markets, Detroiters and potentially all Michigan residents.

Denials continue after financial review report 

On Feb. 19, the state-appointed financial review team declared the city was in bad financial shape, but Snyder and Treasurer Dillon insisted, yet again, that no decisions were made on whether to appoint an emergency manager.

“The governor is saying he’s not going to make a decision until he studies (the report) and is able to make a thoughtful decision” on whether an EM is needed, Dillon told reporters in Detroit that day.

Snyder’s aide, Baird, set up a clandestine meeting between Bing and Orr for Feb. 25. But it was too risky to meet in the Motor City, Baird warned, because the National Governor’s Association was in town.

“I think the lunch would be better held in our offices for the sake of privacy,” Baird wrote.

Bing’s office agreed about privacy: “We wish to stay below the radar,” his office wrote from a private email account.

On Feb. 21, the governor’s office privately arranged to announce Orr’s appointment on March 14 in Detroit. Hours later, Snyder told the media  that he was unsure whether he was going to appointment an emergency manager.

“It could take weeks before there is a firm decision,” Snyder told me in an interview that day.

In the meantime, his staff was preparing to lease a posh, furnished suite at the Westin Book Cadillac, where Orr would live during his 18-month contract.

Four days later, Baird wrote to Orr that the mayor “was very impressed and enthusiastic about a working relationship.”

On March 1, a few days after the press conference was scheduled, Snyder told me he hadn’t decided on emergency management “because I have to stay open-minded during the review process.”

In interviews with the media, Bing denied knowing anything about the new emergency manager.

Governor’s office denies doing anything wrong

On Sunday, I asked the governor’s office about the discrepancies between Snyder’s public and private comments.

“Good leaders always hope for the best but plan for the worst, and Gov. Snyder believes the state is best served when all contingencies have been considered,” his spokeswoman Sara Wurfel responded. “The governor has been transparent and visible throughout the process and in reaching and sharing his decisions.”

When Orr arrived in Detroit for the official announcement, questions about bankruptcy were quickly dismissed as too early.

“Let’s get at it and work together because we can resolve this without bankruptcy,” Orr said.

Soon after, Orr’s powerful legal team began preparing a 3,000-page bankruptcy filing.

While the EM met with creditors and unions in meetings intended to strike a deal to avoid bankruptcy, participants said the sessions were clearly designed to set the stage for Chapter 9.

“We were very displeased that we were told negotiations were going to take place; they never did,” Al Garrett, President of AFSCME Council 25, said.”Instead, they ran to a bankruptcy court.”

 

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.

  • Elena Herrada

    Thank you for your good work on this. Those of us who were part of the recount of the ballots of the mayoral race primary have hundreds and hundreds of photos of identical ballots. If anyone would ever care to see them, it shows clearly that the election was a fraud. The Boards of Canvassers from both the State of Michigan and Wayne County treated us like we were the criminals. But those lawyers who defended the looters got hired soon after the recount. We never got our day in court and the people know what happened. Never has there been such cynicism around government, thanks to Snyder. Dillon, Duggan, Jones Day… But we do know the truth. We know that our elections are the same as Mexico’s, the same as any other place. We just once thought it was different here. How naive of us. We are still better off knowing the truth. No one is coming to save us.

  • Black Junior

    Steve is dope but for us who actually live in Detroit MI & possess “common-sense” we saw this coming “300 Miles Away”…. In the Street It’s Called “The Overlay For The UnderPlay”….

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    They were deceiving everyone but the decision regarding bankruptcy was correct.

  • Khara Sikhan

    The Socialist Equality Party held a Workers Inquiry into the bankruptcy of Detroit in February. The findings deal with much more depth in history and intent. http://detroitinquiry.org/findings-of-the-inquiry/

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  • JS_Casalou

    How Detroit went broke: The answers may surprise you – and don’t blame Coleman Young
    http://www.freep.com/interactive/article/20130915/NEWS01/130801004/Detroit-Bankruptcy-history-1950-debt-pension-revenue

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  • Paul, the newcomer

    Diabolical plot or not something had to be done beyond wishin and a hopin. Rome is burning who cares where the water comes from to put out the flames?

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    This will be the nail on Snyder’s reelection, and it should be.

  • Ron

    Detroit should have filed BK years ago. So what if it was behind closed doors if that was the only way to get it done. They next to next find a way to implement eminent domain to consolidate the population into viable areas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wayne-X-Davenport/1512548465 Wayne X Davenport

    The governor and the mayor did nothing to save the the city nor the people in it. We was show scenes from a a prepared play put on for the public while the crooks were plotting all alone to pull off the biggest robbery in the US history. If we could save other countries during WW2 and major corporations why did we not use this same knowledge to save a American city without destorying all the efforts collective people had worked long and hard to create.

    • Rubber_necker

      If you worked so hard, why are you a failure? Detroit’s problem is that they wanted to create a black city by excluding outside money and the people didn’t have enough money themselves. When you start with that premise, you cannot do anything but fail. Then, your answer is that the government should fix you. If cities just spend money and fight off revenues and the government comes riding in and fixes them, soon the federal government will run out of money because every city will spend more than they bring in and expect a bailout.
      Your biggest problem is on the revenue side and not being inclusive. After that, what happened was just a matter of time. You can’t circle the wagons around a city and keep others out, let alone do it in the blackest city in America.

      • Priscilla

        Maybe it is you that need to go back and dig deeper into why and how Detroit became a primarily black city. How about reading and brushing up on history and the lasting effects of systematic economical disadvantages? The Urban Crisis by Thomas Sugrue is a good beginning.

        • StretchRun

          Sugrue is a liberal joke. I’ve read it. People of all colors leave Detroit and they leave to give their children a safe environment and a decent education. Detroit provides neither.

          People choose who they want to be around all the time. Blacks often choose less safety and less educational prospects because they are more comfortable around their own kind in Detroit. Other blacks, not unlike whites, live in the few better neighborhoods in Detroit often to separate themselves from the riff raff.

          Sugrue talked about redlining and jobs moving to the suburbs but that happened in every American city. The only aspect that differentiates Detroit is the fact that so many blacks were given good jobs in the auto industry. They wanted their own city and they took it by burning two thousand building and killing scores of people in 1967, and through racist voting patterns, ran it into the ground.

  • Ebony Mack

    Steven I appreciate your alleged investigative report.

    This must be your attempt to REPENT after writing propaganda for the Detroit Free Press. It appears consistent with much of the known information
    about the fabricated financial situation to take over Detroit, exposed by Tom
    Barrow and Robert Davis and many others. However this report is a day
    late and a dollar short. Why didn’t you publish this months ago?
    You could have possibly prevent a Chapter 9 filing, Detroiters’ seeing the
    real gangsters 6+3(Gilbert, Karmanos, Penske, (all should be RICO
    defendants) and particularly lying write in candidate Mike D-u-g-g-a-n.

    Steven Neavling you reported half-truths and lies about The City of Detroit Department of Human Services. You repeated over and over that this department inappropriately used federal $200,000 dollars to buy furniture for its now closed Grandy location. The State of Michigan approved this badly needed purchase. Now Detroit citizens have little to NO help accessing federal dollars for Weatherization, utility, housing and food assistance, property tax assistance and other emergency needs. These services have been moved to Wyandotte, MI or privatized for all but Detroit. You help destroy an agency that was almost 50 years old, which forced many seniors out of their homes and low income residents to designated areas in the
    suburbs. Everybody lost their JOB and there was no foul play. They used a
    similar method to close Employment and Training/Workforce development and Health dept/Herman Heifer. Thanks for finally telling some truth about
    something, maybe GOD will forgive you!

  • Marc Williams

    True, skewed, or not … more negative news attached to Detroit.

    Really? Does this city need ANY more editorial muckraking, conspiracy theories, or divisive political opinions to tarnish its already debilitated image? The city lies wounded in the dirt, and the best we can do is pick at it like vultures flapping our wings looking for attention.

    One can argue the details until the cows come home, which only seems to further the polarization and divisions. Bankrupt? Not bankrupt? Hidden meetings? Or needed contingency planning just in case? Back and forth, true, not true, or half truths?

    IMO, the good people of Detroit need to unite against the crimes that have affected their lives in a non-debatable way: Not one more child shot while playing in their yard, not one more elderly woman attacked in her home, not one more crack house allowed to infect a family neighborhood.

    Want to investigate something? Get the goods on the gangs and criminals and nefarious cancers eating at the very soul and core of the city, and wipe them off the map of Detroit.

  • JPindiorski

    Mike Duggan claims he turned the DMC around? BS. He’s taking credit for work that was already done by the past chairman of the board of trustees who put the DMC on the right path and handed it to Duggan with the hard work already done. Politicians…can’t trust any of them.

    • Matthew Kaufman

      Uh are you serious? Dr. Arthur Porter? The guy who just got arrested for defrauding a heath system? Great point there. Ever sat in a boardroom with Mike Duggan? How about on a weekly basis? But hey, nice point JP.

    • Matthew Kaufman

      If you’re referring to Chuck O’Brien, yes, he supposedly did a great job and was instrumental in the turnaround. I still think Duggan was a wonderful leader and carried on after the untimely death of Mr. O’Brien. Sorry if my last post comes up in a reply, I read your post incorrectly.

      • JPindiorski

        Ha. Not “supposedly”. Duggan’s own words went some like RE: O’Brien “I agreed to take this job because all of the hard work was done and because everything was in place to make DMC successful” (paraphrasing) So when Duggan claims he’s some kind of second coming savior he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth just like Benny Napolean is and you too.

  • Steve Sizz

    These criminals rely on the apathy of the public at large to go through with their nefarious schemes. It was a political calculation made by Snyder to set this plan in motion. Snyder is as devious a politician as any politician to ever enter state politics.

  • Steve Sizz

    All of my suspicions are confirmed in this fine piece of reporting. Its not as if they were being clandestine in all of this. It was blatantly obvious as to what was going on but the major news media willfully chose to ignore it; they were in on it too.

  • Lady Lady

    I wish this. Could be heard from the roof tops cheaters and lairs stealing from working people. Where do we go from here how do we expose these crooks for who they are. They should be destroyed

  • Ed

    The city was collapsing, is in debt to the tune of $18+ billion, and the only solutuion is to sell more bonds to pay off old bonds. Who cares if the bankruptcy was preplanned, it was necessary.

    • loveandhiphop

      Is it true that 470 million of the city’s debt comes from a deal brokered by Orr’s firm between the city and Bank of America in which a 50 million loan turns into a 470 million debt only in the case of bankruptcy?

    • Khara Sikhan

      Pensions are a long term debt, and only short term debt is the precursor for bankruptcy. The numbers are fudged, on top of the bankers debt being illegal, and the tax base is “gone” because of the continuous tax breaks and subsidies to the large corporations. On top of the Detroit City Council continuously looting the public treasuries.

      But none of these are the stipulations for bankruptcy.

  • Aaron

    Steve, thank you for putting all of this together–it’s been a long time coming and I’m glad you were up to the task. Nobody else has been both able and willing. Feeling very grateful that there’s still some real reporting on this front.

  • Andrea Cardinal

    This begs the question: why? What does Snyder gain having Detroit file the largest municipal bankruptcy ever? I believe that he is a smart man, and I believe that his campaign was altruistic, but has been bought by the Koch brothers, et al. We need answers as to what the real long-term plans are. The largest privatized municipality? He/they have to be leveraging ruining the entire state’s credit ratings and abilities to issue bonds for *something*. Having 8 municipalities run by emergency financial managers surely isn’t attracting more home or business owners.

    • spideyismydaddy

      This is a very good question. It reminds me of the questions I had when the banks were foreclosing left and right on people. It didn’t make sense that they wouldn’t work at all with people. Then it turned out they were collecting from the government on their “losses” and planning on profitting again off forclosed homeowners by selling the debt to third parties. The story was reported maybe once or twice and not mentioned again. “What are they up to?” Is a very good question.

  • Patricia Dowling

    Steve Neavling – this is really fine work! This is what they’re trying to keep hidden. I appreciate your investigative efforts and exposing Snyder, Dillon, Dugan, Baird, Gary Brown – all the political connivers. Thank-you!

  • Sheila

    Bing was misguided from the beginning. Look how many Kwame retreads he hired.Karen Dumas anyone? the person who caused Rochelle Collins lawsuit.

  • http://www.rojsnews.com/ ROJS News

    EXCELLENT Work Motorcity Muckracker! Will be widely shared!

  • JS_Casalou

    There’s really no story here. Irrespective of what you’ve written. The fact is Detroit is bankrupt and that needed to change.

    • Sayeed2k

      If there was no story why all the lying?
      Truth is there is no financial crisis, all the major debt is longterm. I am aware of at least 4 times we were told that Detroit doesn’t have enough to make it another week. In fact the only “crisis” that has occurred is when Andy Dillon witholds money owed to the City.

      • JS_Casalou

        I’m not sure where you get your information in regards to Detroit’s debt situation but not all $18B+ was long-term. Moreover, I lived in the “city” for almost 5 years and experienced the lack of basic services, police, etc. Where does the funding for said services come from? I’ll tell you; tax revenue. It’s simple economics. If a city cannot provide basic services because their lack of tax revenues means they’re spending more than they’re taking in. They were operating at a deficit in the HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars when I moved out in 2009. Regardless of how much the debt was long-term, the fact of the matter is they were operating at annual deficit that was growing exponentially. If Detroit didn’t file for bankruptcy now then it would have done so at some point in the very near future. There is ZERO evidence that they were headed in the right financial direction, i.e., shrinking population, increases in crime, decreases in city services, closing of schools, and police precincts; the list goes on. None of those things say Detroit would be better off for not filing bankruptcy.

        • loveandhiphop

          JS you are mistaken to believe that Hundreds of Millions of property tax dollars were lost. When property taxes aren’t paid by the property borrowers, the bank pays them. And, when those properties are taken in foreclosure, it becomes the banks property so the tax revenue is even higher because banks lose the homestead exemption. Shrinking population doesn’t equate to shrinking property tax payments.

          • JS_Casalou

            First, I never narrowed the scope of tax dollars to property tax. So, your response is non-sequitur. Second, tax revenue is generated through more than property tax. There’s also a city tax that is required by residents of Detroit; moreover, there’s a tax for people that work for company within the city limits.

          • Rubber_necker

            Shrinking population does equate to shrinking property taxes because home values are a function of supply and demand and property taxes are based on home values.

          • loveandhiphop

            In theory you are correct. But assessed values and market values are two different things, and I speak as a Detroit property owner when I say that assessed values are not shrinking in proportion to market values. So when taking that into account as well as the fact that banks pay a higher tax rate than the residents that lost the house in the first place, it just doesn’t have the negative effect some would like us to believe.

          • Mariano_H

            ehh kinda. As long as housing is going up big government likes it to be based on that. Not when housing values recede or plummet. That is why there are people in detroit paying $3-5,000 per year in taxes on a house worth $12,000 which they cannot even sell. If what you said was true, many peoples taxes would be $250

        • Matthew Kaufman

          JS, you are 100% correct and perhaps the most informed person I’ve ever seen comment on a blog, ever. The “lying” going on in this story is just smart politics. I lived in the city during this whole timeline and I knew from the second the EM law was introduced that there would be an EM in Detroit and that eventually bankruptcy would ensue. The reason? I can do simple math. Furthermore, it was obvious that Snyder wanted to make sure there was not an uprising so he kept things mum and skirted around direct statements. However, those of us who were in Detroit saw the few protests, some graffiti about a “state takeover” and a few murmurs on the street, but the general feeling in the city was that this end was inevitable. I think people weren’t upset until they realized their pensions were at stake. Mr. Neavling, with all due respect, this is a story only because inevitably someone had to “break” it. I know it’s not your fault that the media would’ve jumped on this topic one way or another, but this does ZERO good for the rebuilding of the economics of the city and, frankly, I think it’s not even a story. This just shows that Snyder is a smart politician. I don’t especially like the guy, but he went about this process in the best way possible to quickly get the city to bankruptcy without any riots or severe repercussions. Things had to change and he went about initiating this change in the most efficient way possible. Now, we need to elect a strong Mayor that will work well with Council and get control of the city back to the people and set on the right course.

      • The____Truth

        Why did the Governor have to float loans to keep city checks from bouncing? That sounded pretty short term to me.

        • Sayeed2k

          The emails should let you know that there have been a lot of lies told by those selling us on financial review boards and emergency managers. The lie that Detroit only has enough money to last for a week was repeated at least on three occasions. You should be asking “Why hasn’t the governor provided the money lost to the City of Detroit by eliminating the Small Biz Tax?

          • Rubber_necker

            Did you forget that the Governor co-signed a string of loans to avoid running out of cash? Any transfer payments that were reduced were also lowered for other cities in Michigan.

            The whining about transparency in Detroit has gone overboard. Imagine if your parents were forced to discuss how they would deal with your bad behavior, and you got to watch the process, even when they disagreed. Tell me you wouldn’t have tried to use their initial disagreement to pit one against the other and wiggle out of your punishment.

            Sometimes leaders need a forum where they can freely discuss their opinions before deciding on a consensus and taking their recommendations to the people to get their feedback.

          • loveandhiphop

            …And don’t forget the city’s portion of revenue sharing he’s holding on to.

  • http://fuzzytek.tumblr.com/ Stephen Boyle

    Thank you for publishing this… it needs to be escalated in visibility. There has been a dedicated core striving to get the cloaked truth. The corruption around Detroit has grown much deeper than many would suspect. The only way to learn is to question authority (otherwise you’re enslaved by it).

  • Ronald Diebel

    Good work. No one else is exposing this chicanery.

  • Peter

    This article is all smoke and no fire.

    • The____Truth

      All hat and no cattle. Icing and no cake.

      • Peter

        Robert Davis spouts enough nonsense as it is without a podium.

    • Cassandra InDetroit

      You’re obviously one of the paid saboteurs…why you hiding?

  • detroiter

    Wow, Gov. Snyder actually gives a damn about Detroit. This is nice to see. Glad someone is sick of kids getting shot in the street, burned out houses, murdered women being found in the tall weeds, failing schools, massive amounts of flight, etc etc etc.

    Detroit needs to say goodbye to the panderers.

    • tait

      Really. if he’s so damned concerned, maybe he oughta move to Detroit, let’s say maybe in the Dexter/Linwood area, or even ANYPLACE off Fenkell, Southwest Detroit. No where NICE, Lets’ see how much he cares than.

    • Sayeed2k

      I am sure the Trojans thought the guys who brought that horse to them gave a damn about them to.

      • The____Truth

        Yep, gonna steal all those wonderful jewels in the city. What are they again?

        • GL

          waterboard, belle isle, ports, international boarder, waterfront property, those things

          • gl

            border, before people go crazy over typing error

          • Rubber_necker

            How are they going to steal your waterfront or international border? And they offered to build up Belle Isle and give it back while allowing you to use it the whole time. You have no jewels. It is all a big hoax perpetrated on you by your politicians so you will vote for them.
            Read my lips: ” YOU HAVE NO JEWELS! YOU ARE DIRT POOR. THE ONLY REASON THAT OUTSIDERS CARE IS THAT YOUR DISGUSTING FILTH AND SQUALOR IS AFFECTING THE ENTIRE REGION!

          • morpheus1994

            If there was nothing here, there wouldn’t be a line of ATTORNIES waiting to get paid!!! They’re going to clean the carcass of the City. They’re just setting up their own ‘friends & family’ plan. Jones Day and other law firms are making millions off the ‘broke’ City of Detroit. I’ve examined the CAFR reports from 2011 & 2012 and when you take out the long-term liabilities (i.e., debts that are over a year due) from the CURRENT year’s financials, the City has approximately $8 billion. That’s what they’re hoping you don’t figure out, and that’s why they keep drumming out the ‘the City is broke’ mantra everywhere you see.
            Everybody isn’t buying the corporate-sponsored propaganda being spewed by the mainstream media. That’s why the above article and investigation isn’t being done by freep.com, detroitnews.com, or the television news stations. WAKE UP!

          • StretchRun

            Of course, you idiot, they have been floating long term debt to make budget. Let me guess, you took an accounting course at community college.

            The lawyers are there because when you idiots let yourselves spend money you don’t have, then renege on your debts, the people who loaned you the money are going to sue. What would you expect?

            Attornies? You are an ignoramus. It is ” attorneys.”

    • alicia

      How does him appointing an emergency manager, declaring bankruptcy or taking people’s pensions from people that earned them, that’s right earned them, have to do with any of the above. At what point does the governor combat any of the above issues with anything that he has done. Maybe giving dollars , setting up a fund for more police, more recreation centers, more money in the budget for tearing down houses can help with these issues. Let’s STOP clouding the real issues and solutions. Let’s get real!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    Good job of reporting. I am fearful that Snyder’s bungling is going to spoil the good work Orr is doing.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Steve, this exposé is one of your finest moments. Thank you!

  • Stewart

    You probably believe in the boogie man, too.