Detroit: You've got to be kidding!

Rod Meloni discusses battle between Detroit mayor, corporation counsel

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

DETROIT - Mayor Dave Bing called it a side show.

He was being kind. The City of Detroit's dysfunction sank to a new, circus big top low today. The brinksmanship between the mayor and corporation counsel Krystal Crittendon may come to its illogical conclusion: the city sliding into the financial abyss. As of Friday night at 6pm Crittendon had NOT signed any of the paperwork she needs to that would allow a bond sale to go through.

Thus the City of Detroit needs to forfeit $28 million in revenue sharing to the State to pay off bond debt [taken on last April] to try and keep the city solvent until tomorrow; the end of the fiscal year. Crittendon's inaction comes on the heels of move she made yesterday that makes you shake your head and wonder even more. She called Attorney General Bill Schuette and asked him to join her in another hearing, an appeal really, before Judge William Collette. She wants the Judge [who threw out her initial case] to step into the question of whether the State owed Detroit a quarter of a billion dollars.

It is her considered legal opinion the consent agreement between the state and the city is illegal because the state is in default to the city. The Judge told Crittendon two weeks ago she had no authority to bring the case and unceremoniously sent her packing. Crittendon refuses to take no for an answer. She, straight faced, wanted the Attorney General, whose team she went up against at the last Judge Collette hearing to join her in her appeal. To be kind yet again, Schuette declined. The letter telling her off is attached here:

View: AG's Office letter to Crittendon

The Treasurer's office spent the day trying to get Bank of America to extend the deadline on the bond payment 30 days which would cover the deadline for when Crittendon can no longer appeal her loss in Judge Collette's courtroom. So far it hasn't happened. Here is the statement the Treasurer's office gave Local 4 today about this entire situation.

"While there is nothing definitive at this hour, we are optimistic an extension will be worked out."

Mayor Dave Bing was frustrated about this also last night and gave us this statement:

"My administration is not surprised by the Treasury statement. This is exactly the negative financial outcome and potential harm to the city that we've been working to avoid, and why I went before the City Council attempting to get their support to remove the Corporation Counsel. My focus continues to be financially stabilizing the city and moving forward."

There appears no end in sight to this drama worthy of a catty reality television show. Unlike reality TV this is real life. The City of Detroit and its residents deserve better and aren't getting it. The Mayor is powerless to do much about it. City Council seems to support this kind of silliness. It all leaves us looking in on the drama saying ‘you've got to be kidding." And yet we know categorically they are not.

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