Emails show Detroit emergency manager enjoys perks while taxpayers foot bill

Local 4 Defenders obtain secret emails detailing expensive perks Detroit EM Kevyn Orr gets while on job


DETROIT – In secret emails obtained by the Local 4 Defenders, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is promised a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week security team staffed by Michigan State Police officers.

Orr gets a car, a driver and a body guard. Taxpayers, who are having services slashed by Orr, are paying for all of it.

"He's talking about cutting costs with the little man. He needs to begin right there at home with his own personal expenses that he's putting on the backs of the citizen of the city of Detroit," said union activist Robert Davis.

Related: Defenders: The mystery woman in Detroit EM emails

Davis says the perception is like a slap in the face. He insists if Orr is in Detroit to cut budgets, why is he spending so much?

Fire, police, City Council and city workers all are taking big cuts while Orr is spending big money. The city of Detroit is paying the emergency manager more than $200,000 a year in salary, but he isn't using a penny of that to rent or buy a house. Instead, Orr has Detroit residents paying for his luxury suite and the Book Cadillac Hotel -- between $2,500 and $3,000 each month.

The secret emails indicate private investors are being asked to pitch in money to give Orr a big bonus when the job is done. The emails indicate the mayor's people and the governor's people are all on board with expensive perks given to the emergency manager.

"When you are asking individuals here in the city of Detroit to make sacrifices, cut when they're barely making it on a daily basis, you should take a look at yourself in the mirror and say, 'Am I truly doing a service or a disservice to the citizens of the city of Detroit?'" Davis said.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing issued this statement to the Defenders:

"Issues regarding Kevyn Orr's salary, living accommodations and security are questions that clearly must be directed to the State, even though the City -- under the State's direction -- has some payment obligation for those expenses."