Detroit Mayor Bing: No secret deal cut with Lansing - KMSP-TV

Detroit Mayor Bing: No secret deal cut with Lansing

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Detroit Mayor Dave Bing Detroit Mayor Dave Bing
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Was Mayor Dave Bing being a two-faced liar when he told you this Detroit?

"The governor has made his decision, and it was his decision alone to make. While I respect it, I've said all along that I do not favor an emergency manager for the City of Detroit," Bing said in March of this year.

While Bing was telling us that we could work it out without an emergency manager, he was working out a deal with Gov. Rick Snyder and Kevyn Orr to save his and his executive team's paychecks a month before Orr was even appointed emergency manager, according to a raft of confidential emails obtained by Robert Davis, the thorn to all things Snyder.

On February 20, 2013, Richard Baird, the governor's right hand man, wrote to Orr, who was at the time a lawyer at Jones Day, "FYI -- The Summary of Partnership prepared by the mayor from the outline I gave him last week told him that there were certain things I would not think we could agree to without your review... (such as keeping the executive team in its entirety)..."

"Clearly shows that the mayor of the City of Detroit lied to the citizens of the City of Detroit. While he was trying to put on this charade in front of the cameras here locally to say that he was against the EM, he was flying back and forth between here and Washington negotiating with Kevyn Orr and the governor privately saying keep my salary, keep my perks, keep my executive staff on the payroll, and I will agree to bringing you on as your appointment as the emergency financial manager," Davis said.

In fact, Bing flew to Orr's D.C. offices three weeks before Orr was even appointed emergency manager.

"It only seems to reason that you would meet with the emergency manager and the mayor of a city coming in before you agree to put that person into the final steps for hiring for that job. If it's not going to be a fit, you need to look elsewhere. I mean, that's just good business practice," said Bill Nowling, Orr's spokesperson.

On February 22, Orr wrote to Baird, "Rich, thanks for the revised draft. I spoke with the mayor this morning, and we're all set to meet Monday morning. I will provide a visiting VIP office for him here at the firm, as well."

That meeting was kept secret by arranging it through Bing's personal secretary. That way it was not a public record that the media is entitled to see under the Freedom of Information Act.

On February 20, Baird wrote to Orr, "Will broker a meeting via note between you and the mayor's personal assistant, who is not FOIA-able."

Whether you think the bankruptcy is a good idea or not, most can probably agree that if we are going to do it, we are going to need the government to be honest and transparent about its dealings.

We received the following statement from Mayor Dave Bing:

I did not cut any type of secret deal with Lansing.  Throughout this process, I have been very vocal about being against an Emergency Manager.

When it became obvious that Lansing had made the decision to bring in an Emergency Manager, I thought the best choice was for the City to work in partnership with Lansing to protect the interests of the citizens of Detroit.

To that end, I thought it very important to keep my Executive Team in place to carry out the day-to-day operations and continue to implement our restructuring initiatives.

I wanted to maintain my key executives at their existing salaries, since they, along with other city employees, already had taken a 20-percent pay reduction.

Our intent was to develop an understanding for a working partnership between the City, State and EM. There was never any intent to create a formal, signed agreement.

To underscore the fact that this was not a formal agreement, note that the State has not kept my executive team intact; they did not support maintaining the federal transit funding for DDOT; there is no lease deal for Belle Isle; and the State has not released the necessary funding to move our initiatives forward, as outlined in the e-mail document.

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