Lansing judge denies appeal over consent agreement lawsuit

Krystal Crittendon had asked for challenge, saying agreement violated city charter

Published On: Jul 11 2012 10:39:48 AM EDT   Updated On: Jul 11 2012 05:32:55 PM EDT
DETROIT -

Lansing Circuit Court Judge William Collette has issued an order denying a motion for reconsideration filed by Detroit City Attorney Krystal Crittendon.

Crittendon filed the lawsuit challenging the consent agreement between Detroit and the state of Michigan to manage Detroit’s financial crisis.

Crittendon argues the consent agreement is a violation of the city charter which prohibits Detroit from contracting with entities in debt to the city.

Judge Collette writes, “The court having reviewed the memoranda supplied by the City Attorney filed on the very last day that it could be considered finds no basis to revisit its ruling and hereby DENIES the motion.”

Read: Collette denies Crittendon appeal

Read: Crittendon's lawsuit

Crittendon asked for the reconsideration based on the new Detroit City Charter that gives her the power to act alone.

The new charter was passed by voters in the wake of the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal. She has been criticized by legal experts, the judge and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing for going “rogue” for acting against the wishes of the mayor.

Bing has asked Crittendon to resign from her position, arguing she exceeded her authority when she penned the lawsuit aimed to derail the city's agreement with the state. However, Bing has not gotten the support from City Council which he would need to get Crittendon fired.

Detroit Council President Pro-tem Gary Brown on Monday has asked the state attorney general to file a suit to decide the city attorney’s new power.  There has been no reply to that request.

Mayor Bing responds

Mayor Bing responded in a statement Wednesday saying "I continue to be disappointed in Corporate Counsel’s effort to derail the Financial Stability Agreement with this unnecessary litigation. The city's financing continues to be stalled by legal challenges of the FSA, impeding our progress to fiscally stabilize the city."

"I want to thank Judge William Collette for ruling quickly on this motion of reconsideration," said Bing.

Can Crittendon appeal again?

The City Council discussed more of what happened on Wednesday later that afternoon.

"Can she independently appeal a third-party's decision? I don't know if the charter gives her that power," says Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh.

Mayor Bing and state officials have said Crittendon's legal challenge brings more uncertainty to Detroit just as they are trying to resolve the financial crisis with the consent agreement.

The mayor wanted her fired, but did not have six of the nine City Council votes.

"I certainly believe that the uncertainty surrounding the physical stability agreement makes it harder for us to sell bonds," says City Council Member Saunteel Jenkins.

Last month, Crittendon spoke with Local 4's Jim Kiertzner and the Lansing judge made the wrong ruling.

"The new judge did not read the new charter provisions," says Crittendon.

After City Council ended their closed session on Wednesday, no council members would comment, the city attorney left without commenting as well.