Kevyn Orr may be top candidate for Detroit emergency financial manager

Governor expected to announce Detroit emergency financial manager on Friday

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

LANSING, Mich. - One name has surfaced as a possible candidate for an emergency financial manager position in Detroit.

Kevyn Orr, 54, is a trained bankruptcy attorney who attended the University of Michigan. He works with Jones Day, a Cleveland-based law firm that's one of the largest in the nation.

Orr worked on the team that managed Chrysler's bankruptcy, but he was not lead counsel on that case. He works at Jones Day's Washington D.C. law office. Local 4 has confirmed Orr was at his desk on Tuesday, although he was not answering his phone.

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He has government service experiencing -- he was director and deputy director of the executive office for the United States Trustees.

At the U.S. Department of Justice, Orr was assistant general counsel for complex litigation and bankruptcy section for the Resolution Trust Corporation.

Complicating the situation is the announcement Monday that the city of Detroit hired Orr's firm, Jones Day, as its restructuring counsel, which raises the question of whether Orr's appointment would be a conflict of interest.

Whether he becomes the emergency financial manager or not, the job will be outlandishly difficult for whomever Gov. Rick Snyder decides to appoint, said Michigan State University economist and EFM expert Dr. Eric Scarsone.

"From my perspective it's going to be very difficult. I think the kind of structural changes needed are going to require very tough tools that an emergency manager, or maybe other things even more extreme, might be necessary," Scarsone said.

Local 4 is told the governor is still waiting for the appeal paperwork from the Treasury Department on Tuesday night. He is expected to have an announcement on which way his administration will move on Friday.

It's possible Orr could be the pick but there are some serious doubts that's the case.

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