Game On: Judge dismisses City Attorney's Challenge of consent agreement
June 13th, 2012, 10:40 AM
The consent agreement is back on.
Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette today dismissed a lawsuit challenging the agreement brought by Detroit Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon. Collette ruled the Law Department has no standing to bring the action unless directed by Mayor Dave Bing.
"It was such an obvious issue, I saw it from the moment it was brought forward," Collette said about the question of standing.
Bing asked Crittendon to drop the suit after administration officials warned that Detroit could be insolvent by the end of the week without the consent agreement in place.
"So the words 'when directed by the mayor' doesn't mean what it says?" Collette incredulously asked James Noseda, an attorney from the city law department.
In the end, the law department was unable to offer an answer that would satisfy Collette--who, until now, had been a thorn in the side of emergency manager/consent agreement supporters.
"The entire transaction by your office is improper," he told Noseda after he dismissed the case.
After the hearing, Noseda said he was unsure if his office would appeal.
"That's not a decision I make, it's going to be up to the Corporation Counsel," he said.
Michael Hodge, an attorney from Miller Canfield representing Mayor Bing against his own law department, said he was pleased with the ruling.
"The City Charter for the city of Detroit makes it very clear that the city attorney files lawsuits and dismisses lawsuits at the direction of the mayor of the city," Hodges said. "That particular Charter provision was ignored in this instance."
After the hearing, Mayor Bing commented, saying:
"This legal challenge has been an unfortunate distraction, but now it’s time for the city to move forward."