'It's a Sad Day': Detroit Gets Emergency Manager

Kevyn Orr thinks he can turn city around in 6 months

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 14, 2013 2:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – A DC bankruptcy lawyer now has more say over Detroit's future than its mayor or city council. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder today named Kevyn Orr as the city's emergency manager, following up on his unprecedented move to put the city's finances under state control, reports the Detroit Free Press. “In many respects, it’s a sad day,” said the governor, reports the New York Times. "But again I like to say it's an opportunity."

Orr, a University of Michigan grad who worked on Chrysler's 2009 restructuring, tells the Wall Street Journal that he thinks the turnaround can be done in six months.That might be a tall task considering Detroit's $327 million budget deficit and $14 billion long-term debt, but Orr will have the authority to renegotiate labor contracts, sell city assets, suspend salaries, and generally impose his will on the budget, reports AP. "We can rise from the ashes," says Orr. The state will pay him $275,000 for the job.

This undated photo provided by Jones Day shows attorney Kevyn Orr.
This undated photo provided by Jones Day shows attorney Kevyn Orr.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Jones Day)
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, left, Gov. Rick Snyder and Kevyn Orr, right, listen to a question during a news conference in Detroit Thursday.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, left, Gov. Rick Snyder and Kevyn Orr, right, listen to a question during a news conference in Detroit Thursday.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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