Three Detroit residents sue to stop consent agreement

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The battle over the consent agreement between the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit could be headed back to the courts.

Three Detroit residents are suing over the agreement, contending it's not legal because the state owes the city money.

"I'm afraid the jewels and the things I enjoyed while growing up as a child won't be here for my grandchildren," said plaintiff Yolanda King. "I don't want to lose anything else in Detroit."

The consent agreement established a Financial Advisory Board which is currently working on Detroit's finances.

Among the contentions in the lawsuit is that the state owes money for parking fines, water and sewerage service to the Michigan State Fairgrounds and for electrical work provided to the State Department of Natural Resources.

The suit also contends that State Treasurer Andy Dillon has admitted that the state owes the city $224 million in revenue sharing.

The lawsuit was brought by Detroit residents Rose Root, Yolanda King and Yvonne Ross. It is seeking an injunction and asks the court to declare that contract that enacts the consent agreement null and void.

This is a similar lawsuit filed by Detroit's Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon. That lawsuit was thrown out by a judge.

A hearing on this new lawsuit is scheduled for July 13th.

Representatives for Mayor Dave Bing and City Council President Charles Pugh declined to comment.

Terry Stanton sent out the following statement in response to the lawsuit on behalf of the Department of Treasury:

The suit, as I understand it, does not name the State of Michigan.  That said, as with the Crittendon suit, the claims apparently being made against the validity of the Financial Stability Agreement have no merit.  The State is not in default to the City of Detroit and we continue to be a good partner is focusing on implementing the Financial Stability Agreement and addressing the financial crisis in Detroit to ensure city services are stabilized and available when residents expect them.

The Governor's office also responded to the lawsuit, issuing the following statement:

Continuous litigation threatens the ability to get Detroit back on track and move forward. Detroit, its residents and the state can ill afford to wait any longer. The state continues to be focused on being a good, supportive partner and upholding the mutually-agreed to Financial Stability Agreement.

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