State board approves Kevyn Orr as Detroit emergency financial manager

(WXYZ) - The Local Financial Emergency Assistance Board approved attorney Kevyn Orr as Detroit's emergency financial manager.

The board's approval is the final step in the process of appointing an EFM.

When asked why he wanted the job, Orr said he considered the job "the Olympics of restructuring," and was drawn to the challenge.

He added, "From time to time you have a call to action," and "my wife kept saying 'step up or shut up.'"

The Loan Board was made up of Steve Arwood, Director of Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, State Treasurer Andy Dillon and State Budget Director John Nixon.

Governor Snyder named Orr as his choice for Detroit EFM during a press conference just an hour earlier.

Following the board's questions and public comment they voted to approve Orr.

Orr is a high-powered D.C. attorney who helped steer Chrysler through their 2009 bankruptcy. He attended undergrad and law school at the University of Michigan.

Orr said he will officially resign from his D.C. firm on Friday. He will make $275,000 a year as Detroit's EFM, taking a large pay cut.

"As Detroit's motto says; 'We can rise from the ashes,'" said Orr. He continued to say he believes it is possible "to restore this city to a sustainable rate of growth."

Despite his positive attitude, Orr said he recognizes the size of the task at hand and the challenges that accompany it,  "This is the Olympics of restructuring." "In my business you're sort of the undertaker that walks up to the front door. You're rarely welcomed."

Orr's appointment comes two days after Detroit City Council appealed Governor Snyder's state takeover. Council proposed a revised consent agreement that prevented an emergency manager  in 2012.

Mayor Bing was also present at the press conference to answer questions about his role now that Orr is official in office. "I'm looking forward to being a part of the team," said the mayor. "I've committed to the governor, to Kevyn that we'll do everything we can to be good teammates."

 

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