In just 30 minutes, an Ingham County Judge decided to lift what the state of Michigan claimed was a deal-breaker for Detroit.
Circuit Court Judge William Collette, after hearing brief statements from three lawyers, dismissed the lawsuit filed by city attorney Krystal Crittendon.
That decision effectively answers the demand by the Snyder administration that the lawsuit be withdrawn, or the state would withhold an $80 million revenue sharing check to help the city meet a list of near-term obligations.
Before the hearing began, lawyers for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing filed an emergency motion to intervene in the lawsuit that Crittendon had refused to withdraw, despite orders from the Mayor to do so. Attorneys from Miller Canfield argued that the Corporation Counsel for the city “does not have, and has never had” the authority to file the lawsuit challenging the Financial Stability Agreement between the City and the State of Michigan.
An attorney for the state agreed with that argument, which left the assistant corporation counsel attorney to plead for the judge to make a decision on Crittendon’s claim that the City Charter gives her authority to file this and other court action without the Mayor's permission.
The judge chose not to interpret the charter language, but to defer to the Mayor's authority as Chief Executive Officer to decide what should or should not be filed on the city's behalf.
Judge Collette told the court that Mayor Dave Bing has the authority in this matter, not Corporation Counsel.
“The capacity to bring this lawsuit resides with the City Council, the mayor and not with the city attorney... this lawsuit will not go forward, we will move on from here it is dismissed," said Judge Collette.
Mayor Dave Bing applauded the judge's decision and stated in a news conference that it's time to focus on the city.
"This legal challenge has been an unfortunate distraction, but now it’s time for the city to move forward," said Mayor Bing.
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