Detroit mayor criticizes emergency manager's style

Reuters

DETROIT, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Detroit Mayor Dave Bing blastedthe city's state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr as beingin over his head when it comes to operating the city, accordingto a deposition related to the city's bankruptcy filing.

In the deposition taken Monday with attorneys representingDetroit unions, retirees, a bond insurer and the emergencymanager, Bing, who was opposed to an emergency manager forDetroit, said Orr sidelined his efforts to run the city on aday-to-day basis and restructure its government.

The mayor said he agreed with a scathing assessment of Orrby Kriss Andrews, who was forced out of his job as the city'sprogram manager in July. In an email cited in the deposition,Andrews concluded that Orr was "embarrassingly incompetent andonly listened to his equally incompetent staff..." when it cameto the operation of Detroit.

"From my vantage point, you know, I'm not going to give him a grade from A to F in either one of those areas, but Iwould agree that his strength was in dealing with the long-termliabilities and not operations," Bing said in the deposition.

Orr, a former corporate bankruptcy attorney was tapped byMichigan Governor Rick Snyder to be Detroit's emergency managerin March. In July, he took the city to federal court where hefiled the biggest Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy in U.S.history.

Bing said he had been led to believe that Orr would beconcentrating on restructuring the cash-strapped city's balancesheet, leaving his administration with the responsibility foroperating Detroit.

He added that people in his administration were "frustratedas hell" as Orr filled some positions with consultants. One ofOrr's appointees, Chief Financial Officer Jim Bonsall, resignedon Tuesday after allegations arose last week that he made racistremarks.

"My big concern there is at some point in time we will comeout of bankruptcy and if you don't have the people internally

that know the system and you have all these consultantsdoing the job that city employees ought to be doing, when Kevynleaves, which could be within the next 11 months, and thoseconsultants leave, you haven't developed anybody to run the cityon a day-to-day basis," Bing said.

In response to questions about the deposition, Orr toldreporters Wednesday that he has tried to be as "positive andcomplimentary to the mayor as I can."

"I am focused on being positive and moving forward andgetting this city in a great position with the efforts we havegot to do as soon as we can," Orr said. "If he feels it isappropriate to make those kinds of comments, that's his choice."

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