Jones Day lawyer is governor's choice for Detroit manager: report

Reuters News

3/12/2013 9:13:50 AM - Reuters News

(Reuters) - Kevyn Orr, a partner with Washington-based law firm Jones Day, is Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's top choice for Detroit's financial emergency manager, the Detroit Free Press reported on Tuesday.

The report said Orr would be the top pick if Snyder reaffirms a financial emergency in Detroit after the Detroit City Council argues against a state takeover at an appeal hearing later Tuesday.

The newspaper report cited several sources with knowledge of the search process who requested anonymity. Orr could not be reached immediately for comment.

If Snyder decides to press ahead after the appeal, which was opposed by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, the appointment of an emergency manager could come quickly.

On Monday, Bing announced the selection of Jones Day as the restructuring counsel for the city.

According to the Jones Day website, Orr has experience in business restructuring. He also represented Chrysler during the 2009 bankruptcy.

The Detroit Free Press said Sara Wurfel, Snyder's press secretary, declined to comment on the appointment. The paper said emails sent to Orr were not answered.

Detroit, the birthplace of the U.S. auto industry and Motown music, has suffered from a sharp population decline that has left the city with declining tax revenue, rising crime and a costly and outdated government structure.

According to a report commissioned by Snyder, the city of 700,000 has "operational dysfunction" in its government, a crushing debt of $14 billion and a current fiscal year deficit of $100 million.

(Reporting by Tiziana Barghini; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)