Why Bing Can't Control His Top Attorney
The city's top attorney, Krystal A. Crittendon, could derail the historic consent agreement between the city and state all by herelf if she can convince a judge to endorse her opinion that the document is illegal.
Crittendon, who has been the city's corporation counsel since 2009, has an expanded role and more power under the under the revised city charter approved by city voters last November, so Mayor Dave Bing cannot order her around as, say, disgraced mayor Kwame Kilpatrick bossed around the head of his legal department.
Crittendon's May 11 legal opinion declaring the consent agreement illegal convinced the City Council to delay action on the deal, including its two appointments to a new Financial Advisory Board.
Her actions signal there is now a more independent voice in the corporate counsel role that emphasizes the law rather than politics, local political analyst Eric Foster said.