Napoleon Blasts Duggan, Snyder For Consulting Each Other About EM
In a rare direct attack on another candidate, Detroit mayoral front-runner Benny Napoleon blasted rival Mike Duggan Thursday afternoon for consulting with Gov. Rick Snyder's office and state officials about the placement of an emergency manager in Detroit.
"With passion, Mr. Duggan has told Detroiters that he was against an emergency manager while quietly advising the Governor on who Detroit's EM should or shouldn't be - and when an EM should be appointed," Napoleon said in a news release.
On Wednesday, labor activist Robert Davis, a long-time opponent of Duggan's who was part of Tom Barrow's successful bid to knock him off of the Aug. 6 primary ballot, released emails from February showing state officials spoke with Duggan about the prospects of appointing an EM.
According to The Detroit News, the emails showed Duggan told Snyder aide Richard Baird to defer an EM appointment until after November's election, and state Treasurer Andy Dillon wrote that Duggan "believed there was a role for an undisclosed candidate 'but not the top spot.'"
Napoleon said the emails show Duggan is an untrustworthy candidate for mayor.
"Detroiters need a mayor who they trust will say what he means, and means what he says," he said.
He also criticized Snyder for only reaching out to Duggan and not himself or other mayoral candidates.
"I have never had a conversation about an EM with Governor Snyder, Andy Dillon, or any of their appointees. And to my knowledge, neither has any other mayoral candidate," Napoleon said. "If it was the intent of the Governor to gain constructive input from Detroiters on the best path forward, I find it troubling that conversations have been limited to the one candidate who only became a part of our community last year."
Duggan told the News on Wednesday the emails don't point to anything new.
“It indicates I was furiously lobbying not to get them to appoint an emergency manager. I have said this repeatedly,” Duggan said. “As you can see they ... did it anyway.”
Duggan Campaign Manager Bryan Barnhill said later Thursday: "Now, we learn that our city is about to go into bankruptcy. Our attention needs to be on which candidate for Mayor has the experience and maturity to transition our city out of from under bankruptcy and an EM and back local elected leadership. That’s why I am supporting Mike Duggan. I know where he stands."
Napoleon's direct, pointed attack on Duggan is rare for him and his campaign. While he has criticized his fellow candidates in passing and when directly asked about them, the Wayne County sheriff has largely shied away from commenting on the actions of other campaigns.
"Throughout this campaign, I have always refrained from weighing in on issues related to my opponents; however, it is very troubling to learn that Mr. Duggan has played such a direct role in coordinating the appointment of an emergency manager in Detroit," Napoleon said.