DETROIT (WWJ) – Saying the situation was “quite embarrassing,” Detroit’s new emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, says he has taken care of a pair of tax liens against his Maryland home.
Those liens were issued because of unpaid unemployment taxes, a result, said an Orr spokesman, of an oversight by an accountant hired to file taxes for Orr.
Orr now says he fixed the problem as soon as he was aware of it.
Some opponents of the EFM say it’s interesting that Orr believes he can manage Detroit when he’s having trouble handling his own affairs.
And WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says Orr’s past tax problem could now be a problem for Gov. Rick Snyder.
“The intel that the governor’s office did on Mr. Orr obviously was a little sloppy, because it didn’t come up in those discussions,” said Skubick. “I’m sure the governor was, shall we say, not pleased when the Detroit News raised this with him and Mr. Orr in a meeting last Friday.
“Mr. Orr moved very quickly to take care of it, but one question sort of looming over all this: If this guy is such a financial expert, how in world did he go through his life not knowing there were four liens on his house? The average person would say, wouldn’t you sort of know if someone had a lien on your $1 million home?” said Skubick.
Orr was appointed by the state to take control of Detroit’s finances after a review team found the city to be in crisis. Detroit is billions of dollars in debt and has a budget deficit topping $300 million.