By: James Kiertzner
DETROIT (WXYZ) – A highly controversial contract between the city of Detroit and a restructuring law firm, Jones Day, which is the former employer of the emergency manager, is being scrutinized by City Council.
The contract is raising big questions about conflicts of interest with the emergency manager, the law firm where he was a partner and how both came to Detroit.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced on March 14th that he picked Kevyn Orr to be the emergency manager.
Council was told this morning that Orr was part of Jones Day team making a pitch to Detroit and the state in January to do restructuring and negotiating with creditors to try to avoid a chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy.
Orr then resigned to be EM.
Jones Day started working for the city on March 15. But the 6-month, 3.3 million dollar contract has not been approved by city council.
Ed Keelean, the acting city attorney, is in the city council’s hot seat.
There are other potential conflicts of interests with Jones Day and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch who are creditors with the city.
The law firm says it will be resolved with waivers from those clients.
What is Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager saying about all of this?
We have been asking for two weeks to talk with the emergency manager and asked again today. So far, we’ve not been able to get that access.