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Detroit Financial Manager: I’m Used To Being Hated

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Kevyn Orr (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Kevyn Orr (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - He’s not a union-buster and he has no plans to hawk Detroit’s jewels. That’s the word from Kevyn Orr, taking control of Detroit’s struggling finances as the city’s state-appointed emergency financial manager.

Orr says he’s taking a reasoned approach that focused on the data and what needs to be done from a financial standpoint.

“It’s not a doctrinaire toward anti-union or to sell-off the crown jewels of the city,” said Orr, in a live interview on WWJ Newsradio 950’s Greg Bowman and Roberta Jasina on Friday.

“My operating assumption is I will look at opportunities and what needs to be done provided it provides a net benefit to the city over and above where it is,” he said.”And, so, there may need to be some restructuring in some fashion with some assets and liabilities, obviously. But, I’m not predisposed anywhere…”

Orr said everything is on the table, and he realizes that any decision he makes will cause some people to hate him.

But he takes that in stride.

“Roberta, when have I not been hated? In terms of what I do for a living, there has always been someone who’s not happy to see a restructuring and bankruptcy lawyer show up,” he said.

Orr, who represented Chrysler during its successful restructuring in 2009, said he’s dealt with doubters before who questioned whether he could get the job done.

“I’ve done restructuring for the past 30 years and each one has been a challenge and, frankly — to be honest with you — at each one … people have said it couldn’t be done,” Orr said. “Certainly, most recently in this region in regard to the Chrysler case; I mean, and that’s the client. I had executives, of course, saying nobody’s gonna’ buy a car from a bankrupt auto company, again. And, look where they are now.”

Detroit is billions of dollars in debt and has a budget deficit topping $300 million. Gov. Rick Snyder, who recommended Orr for the job, said the new EFM will work together with Detroit leaders to get things back on track.

MORE: Bankruptcy Expert Named Detroit Emergency Manager

Opponents Label Detroit Emergency Manager An ‘Uncle Tom’

Multiple Legal Challenges Likely Vs. Detroit EFM

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