Detroit EM Kevyn Orr facing criticism for calling Detroit 'dumb, lazy, happy and rich'

Kevyn Orr voices his thoughts on Detroit in the Wall Street Journal

DETROIT - Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is feeling the heat after making some direct comments in the Wall Street Journal about Detroit's bankruptcy.

Orr said, "For a long time, the city was dumb, lazy, happy and rich." He went on to say, "if you had an 8th-grade education, you'll get 30 years of a good job and a pension and great health care, but you don't have to worry about what's going to come."

Bill Nowling, spokesman for Orr, says the emergency manager was speaking on the political body of Detroit, not its residents.

Orr also discussed how he took the job.

"Initially, I didn't want to do the job," said Orr, who worked on Chrysler's bankruptcy in 2009 as an attorney at Jones Day. "(But) a number of people just explained to me that it's just judgment calls, common sense," he says. "And frankly, the city was at such a dire level, it was all upside -- unless you're going to take it to a more a corrupt level than it's ever been."

Candidates in Tuesday's Detroit mayoral primary have criticized his statement. Retirees protested Monday outside Orr's office.

Orr said in a statement Monday that "Detroiters are and have been some of the hardest working, most resilient people in our state and across this country."

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