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Detroit City Council, mayor reclaim local control from EM Kevyn Orr

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

DETROIT – The Detroit City Council has voted unanimously to remove Kevyn Orr as the city's emergency manager, giving the City Council and mayor local control.

His removal shall take effect when the city's plan of adjustment is approved in bankruptcy court and implemented.

"I have said to you for the last month that when this came down to crunch time it would be done smoothly and without drama, and we have done that," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. "The vote today removes Kevyn Orr as of the effective date of the plan of adjustment."

View: Joint Statement from Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit City Council

Orr was appointed in March 2013 by Gov. Rick Snyder to manage the city's troubled finances. Faced with an accumulated debt of $18 billion, Orr placed Detroit in Chapter Nine bankruptcy reorganization, the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Through the bankruptcy process, Orr reached agreements with city retirees on a pension and benefit restructuring plan--the so-called "grand bargain"--that also preserved the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection.

Under Michigan's Emergency Manager law, City Council had the option to remove Orr after 18 months on the job with a two-thirds vote.

However, even as governing powers are returned to council and Mayor Mike Duggan, the bankruptcy trial will continue in U.S. Judge Stephen Rhodes' courtroom and Orr will continue managing that process through its finish.

While local control has been restored to Detroit governance, even after bankruptcy, the city's budgets will continue to be overseen by a state-appointed Financial Advisory Board.