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Miller Canfield approved

By Victor Walker
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — By a 5-4 vote Dec. 11, City Council approved a $300,000 contract with law firm Miller Canfield.

Mayor Dave Bing says Miller Canfield is necessary in the effort to gain financial stability for the city.

Some Council members had reservations. Members opposing the contract cite a possible conflict of interest as Miller Canfield was involved in drafting the state’s emergency manager law.

State Treasurer Andy Dillon earlier held up funds the city was due until the contract was okayed. The state underwrote a bond as part of getting Council to approve a Consent Agreement with the state. The agreement created another level of bureaucracy, with the installation of a Financial Advisory Board that has power to overrule Council. Despite the extra cost to the city, the financial crisis continues.

Council members JoAnn Watson, Brenda Jones, Andre Spivey and Kwame Kenyatta voted against the contract. Councilmember Watson was the most vocal opponent of the contract. She said it “undermines the interest of the people.”

Bing briefly visited Council to offer a comment. He thanked Council for their vote and said the body’s action “will go a long way in establishing ourselves and our legacy.”

Detroit remains under threat of an emergency financial manager.

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