Lawsuit: Governor has no authority to interview EFM candidates

Lawsuit: Governor has no authority to interview Detroit EFM candidates

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Governor Rick Snyder spoke to reporters on Friday at the Detroit Athletic Club.  He has been ordered to appear in court after a lawsuit was filed by union activist Robert Davis.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Governor Rick Snyder spoke to reporters on Friday at the Detroit Athletic Club. He has been ordered to appear in court after a lawsuit was filed by union activist Robert Davis. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Detroit could soon have an emergency financial manager.  Despite protests and a planned appeal by city council, the governor said he will act fast to take over the city's finances.  Meantime, a lawsuit has been filed against the governor.

Protesters vowing to keep up their fight against an emergency financial manager gathered outside the Detroit Athletic Club where Governor Rick Snyder spoke about immigration during a U of D Mercy law symposium.

"I want him to hear that we need democracy in Detroit," said protester Mary Jo Vortkamp.  "An emergency manager is not democracy."

"We voted emergency management down in November," said protester D. Alexander Bullock.  "During the lame duck period they resurrected emergency management.  So the people are obviously being ignored."

Inside, the governor told reporters he will move quickly to put an emergency financial manager in place.

"We need to turn around Detroit and get it on a positive path to success," the governor said.

The Detroit City Council has until 5:00 p.m. Monday to file an appeal.  A hearing is set for Tuesday.  Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has said he will not challenge the governor's decision.

However, the protesters that were outside the DAC are asking for federal intervention.  Their leaders have met with the U.S. attorney in Detroit, and they're calling on the U.S. attorney general to get involved.

"Emergency management is not good for Michigan.  It's anti-democratic.  We believe it's unconstitutional," Bullock said.

Meantime, union activist Robert Davis told us by phone he is filing a lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court saying the governor doesn't have the authority to interview candidates or make recommendations for an emergency financial manager.

"You have specifically interviewed EFM candidates?" a reporter asked Snyder at the DAC.

"I've talked to people that could be good candidates for that position, and I don't view that as inappropriate," he answered.  "[There are] 20 years of legal history on this particular act, and I think it's something that's going to hold up and do well."

The governor refused to reveal how many candidates were considered or who is on his list.  We could know by the end of next week.

State Treasurer Andy Dillon's office also confirmed he met with business leaders in Detroit on Friday to get them on board with an emergency financial manager.

We've also learned as a result of the lawsuit that was filed, an Ingham County judge has now signed an order requiring the governor to appear in court on Thursday morning.

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