Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's lawyers to argue city attorney, Krystal Crittendon, is exceeding authority with lawsuit against state

Detroit mayor wants city attorney to pull lawsuit aimed to derail consent agreement with state of Michigan

Author: Mara MacDonald, Local 4 Reporter, @MaraMacDonald
Published On: Jun 12 2012 10:54:23 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 12 2012 10:58:25 PM EDT
Krystal Crittendon
DETROIT -

Krystal Crittendon She's gone rogue.

That's the argument lawyers from Miller Canfield will be using Wednesday in front of Judge William Collette. They argue Detroit's Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon has far exceeded her authority in penning a lawsuit aimed to derail the city's consent agreement with the state of Michigan.

Read: Crittendon's lawsuit

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has called in the outside attorneys to try to stop Crittendon's lawsuit.

Complete coverage: Detroit financial crisis

Rob Huth, an expert in municipal law, said Bing is playing the best option in an ugly situation.

"It's completely unprecendented," Huth said. "You have an attorney filing a case without permission from the client to do so. There is only one attorney in this state that's allowed to do that, and we call him Mr. Attorney General."

Huth, like many other experts in his field, see Crittendon's lawsuit as poorly conceived and without merit.

"It's going nowhere. If it doesn't get dismissed tomorrow the Court of Appeals will likely overrule this judge like they have a couple times recently," Huth said.

More: Detroit mayor orders city's top lawyer to drop lawsuit with state of Michigan

Judge Collette does not have to rule on anything the mayor's lawyers try in court on Wednesday. The judge can adjourn the hearing. He can tell both parties he will hear arguments next week, or he can tell them he will hear it on Wednesday.

There are many options in this case.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing at City Council Meanwhile, City Council members tell Local 4 that they expect Bing to come to them Wednesday morning asking for support in forcing Crittendon to pull her lawsuit.

Mayor Bing would need six votes from the City Council to fire Crittendon.

Ramifications from the legal showdown already are being felt. Fitch downgraded Detroit’s bond status because of Crittendon’s lawsuit and the uncertainty over what will happen next.

The word from Lansing is no more money will be going to Detroit unless a consent agreement is in place.  

"The mayor and City Council are not on the same page. They need to get on the same page and resolve this issue," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said.