Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Detroit: Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon is Sabotaging Financial Consent Agreement with State, Without Which City Cannot Make Payroll; Mayor

Dave Bing Ordered Her to Resign—She Refused; Now, Bing is Asking City Council to Fire Her

Mayor Bing said he met with Crittendon on Monday and presented her with a letter requesting [sic] that she resign, effective immediately. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)

Posted by Nicholas Stix

Bing to ask City Council to fire city's top lawyer
By Darren A. Nichols
June 19, 2012 at 10:37 p.m.
The Detroit News

Detroit — Mayor Dave Bing said today he will ask the City Council this week to vote to fire the city's top attorney, Krystal A. Crittendon, after she refused his written request to resign.

Crittendon filed a lawsuit that challenged the legality of the consent agreement between Detroit and the state. It was dismissed last week by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette, who ruled she lacked the authority to bring the lawsuit.

Bing said he met with Crittendon on Monday and presented her with a letter requesting that she resign, effective immediately.

"After giving her 24 hours to consider her decision, Corporation Counsel informed me late this afternoon that she would not resign," Bing said in a statement today.

"The Corporation Counsel's recent legal challenge of the Financial Stability Agreement has negatively impacted our city, including our bond rating and the city's ability to finance its ongoing operations," Bing said. "This will cost the city millions of dollars.

"Corporation Counsel believes she has an ethical obligation to the city to consider, but in my opinion part of that obligation as an attorney is to do no harm to your client, the City of Detroit."

Crittendon can be removed only by a two-thirds vote of the City Council under changes made to the city charter last year that give the city law department more autonomy.

Crittendon could not be immediately reached for comment on Bing's statement.
Contacted earlier today by The News, Crittendon said: "If (Bing) has asked me to step down, I don't know anything about it."

Crittendon filed the lawsuit earlier this month alleging the consent agreement was void because the state owes the city $4.7 million in water bills, has outstanding parking tickets and owes $224 million in past revenue-sharing payments. She claimed the city charter prohibits the city from entering into a consent agreement with a party that has not made good on its debts.

State officials had warned they would withhold some $80 million in revenue-sharing funds if Detroit did not drop the lawsuit. That could have caused the city to run out of cash as early as Friday, city officials had said.

Bing said, citing rules of professional conduct, that Crittendon "violated that obligation when she filed the lawsuit challenging the Financial Stability Agreement. An appeal of Judge William Collette's recent ruling would only do further damage to the city."

Bing said he plans on meeting with council this week to seek a vote to remove her from office.
(313) 222-2073

[Thanks to reader-researcher RC for this article.

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