Detroit mayor wants Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon removed

Bing says Crittendon's recent lawsuit filing hurts city's image, cost millions; City Council not showing support for firing


Detroit Mayor Dave Bing wants city lawyer Krystal Crittendon out.

In a statement Tuesday, Bing said he had asked Crittendon to resign, but she refused.

Watch: Krystal Crittendon says she doesn't regret filing lawsuit

"With Corporation Counsel's decision not to resign, I plan to meet with the City Council this week, seeking a two-thirds vote to remove her as Corporation Counsel," Bing said. "Corporation Counsel believes she has an ethical obligation to the city to consider, but in my opinion part of that obligation as an attorney is to do no harm to your client, the City of Detroit."

Bing is upset over the lawsuit filed by Crittendon that challenged the consent agreement between the Detroit and the state of Michigan.

Crittendon had argued the city charter prohibits Detroit from making contracts where at least one side owes the other money. She says Michigan owes Detroit $220 million in revenue sharing. Crittendon did not attend the hearing.

The lawsuit forced the city into the courtroom last week, where Ingham County Judge William Collette ruled that since Bing did not give permission for the lawsuit to be filed, it would be dismissed.

"The Corporation Counsel's recent legal challenge of the Financial Stability Agreement has negatively impacted our city, including our bond rating and the city's ability to finance its ongoing operations. This will cost the city millions of dollars," Bing said. "As cited in the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct (Ethics Rules Section 1.13), I believe Corporation Counsel violated that obligation when she filed the lawsuit challenging the Financial Stability Agreement. An appeal of Judge William Collette's recent ruling would only do further damage to the city."

City Council members say Bing won't get votes

Mayor Bing needs six votes from the City Council to get Crittendon fired. City Council members tell Local the votes aren't there.

"I do think her analysis was flawed in some key aspects, for that reason I did not support her position," said Councilmember Ken Cockrel Jr. "But should she be asked to resign? I don't know. It's kind of like how do you ask someone to resign for technically doing her job?"

Cockrel said he is willing to sit down and hear what the mayor has to say.

Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins said she still has faith in Crittendon's legal abilities.

"I do have faith in her legal abilities. Do I believe she was right on this last issue? I don't know, that's why we wanted a judge to decide on it," said Jenkins.

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