Emergency Detroit City Council meeting adjourned over Open Meetings Act concerns

DETROIT (WXYZ) - An emergency Detroit City Council meeting called by Mayor Dave Bing ended before it could begin when the city's law department announced it was their belief that notice of the meeting was not properly posted.

Under Michigan's Open Meetings Act, a notice announcing the meeting must be posted where the public can see it. 

While notices were posted in the City County Building about the meeting, they were not visible to the public due to the meeting being called on a Sunday, when the building is not open.

Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis was present at the meeting to represent Mayor Bing. The mayor is out of town due to a pressing family matter.

Bing absence was commented on by council members who said that because the mayor called them together, he should have been at the meeting.

The meeting was called to discuss approval of a contract with Miller Canfield, a law firm the mayor wants to retain.

This may seem like a minor issue, but without the council's approval the city cannot unlock millions of dollars in bond money held by the state. And, by next month Detroit could be broke.

But whether the mayor can get the council to approve the deal is a huge question.

Last week council voted down the contract by a whopping 8-1 vote. Council members were advised by Detroit's top attorney that Miller Canfield had a conflict of interest with the city because the firm helped craft Detroit's financial consent agreement with the state.

Other council members were upset with the way the mayor handled billing and invoices and want more transparency.

The second item on the agenda for the special meeting is a pension payment budget amendment.

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