DETROIT (1270 Talk Radio) Attorney Drew Paterson, who won a stay in the ongoing saga of Detroit’s emergency manager situation, stopped into Charlie Langton’s 1270 Talk Radio morning show Wednesday to discuss the case.
His appearance followed a big victory: Judge William Colette ruled no consent agreement can be signed until after a contempt of court hearing. Paterson, who asked for the contempt charge, believes state leaders, including the governor and Treasurer Andy Dillon, are acting out of bounds by pushing a financial consent agreement on Detroit that gives themselves an illegal level of power over the city.
“(Andy Dillon) should be held in contempt because he acted in contempt,” Paterson said. “If I’ve got an employee who’s a renegade, who’s out violating the law…”
“Is he a renegade?” Langton asked.
“I think he is,” Patterson said. “I don’t think he means to be. He’s wrapped in an ‘end justifies the means’ suit.”
Paterson said the emergency manager law gives a review team the ability to negotiate with union leaders — and it’s not the governor or treasurer’s job.
“They’re carrying on these negotiations by themselves,” Paterson said. “They’re in contempt of the Open Meetings Act, and the emergency manager law … He doesn’t have broad powers under the emergency manager law. The review board is being used as a prop.”
The financial problem has been going on for years, Langton pointed out — so what’s the solution?
“Which is all the more recent to look at Act 4 and say ‘You expect us to solve this in 60 days, 90 days with an extension’ —
It’s ridiculous,'” Paterson said.
Callers weighed in, with Denny saying, “I don’t mean this to discredit anyone, but for the most part people are not intelligent enough to understand the problem and how to fix them. They dig in their heels and say they won’t give anything up.”
Paterson bristled at the notion outsiders would do a better job than current City Council.
“They know the problems as well as anybody, an outside board … that doesn’t know these problems is going to take time to get up to speed,” the attorney said. “These are all things the elected board of the city of Detroit is capable of.”
The contempt hearing is March 29. If he sides with the complaint, the judge could make the Detroit financial review process start all over again, Langton said.