Suit Seeks To Stop Team Reviewing Detroit Finances

HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ/AP) – A judge is expected to decide Thursday on a request to stop the meetings of the state-appointed team reviewing Detroit’s finances.

The suit from Robert Davis, a Highland Park school board member and a union staff representative with AFSCME Council 25, claims the review team has violated the state’s Open Meetings Act by meeting in “secret.” Davis also has filed suit against the appointment of an emergency manager in the Highland Park schools.

WWJ’s Vickie Thomas reports Davis is seeking an injunction from an Ingham County judge. The court is expected to take up the request Thursday morning.

Davis said any action taken by the review teams should be deemed invalid. But a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder said the financial review team isn’t subject to the Open Meetings Act, and wouldn’t have been even before changes to state law enacted last year.

The motion seeks a temporary restraining order against the review team, state treasurer Andy Dillon and Gov. Rick Snyder.

The review team is working to determine if a financial emergency exists in Michigan’s largest city. It is expected to report to Snyder by the end of February.

The governor then could decide whether Detroit should get an emergency manager.

Emergency managers were granted expanded powers last year, including the ability to toss out union contracts and strip locally elected leaders of authority.

Detroit officials continue to negotiate with city unions and bargaining units on health, pension and other concessions.

Mayor Dave Bing had earlier set Tuesday as the deadline for the concessions and other structural changes to help the city avoid going deeper into debt. Spokeswoman Naomi Patton said Wednesday morning talks were ongoing.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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