Detroit

Detroit Tables Vote on Law Firm to Overhaul Finances

The contract was one of the conditions to get $10 million from the state

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The Detroit City Council voted this afternoon to delay a vote on one of two key contracts the state said the city had to approve to avoid running out of cash by next month, throwing into doubt whether the state will release funds the city needs to meet payroll and pay other bills.

The city's top lawyer, Krystal Crittendon, told the council she could not recommend approving the contract because of concerns including whether it's a conflict of interest.

Specifically, Crittendon said the $300,000 contract for the law firm Miller Canfield, which Mayor Dave Bing has hired to advise him on the city's financial stability agreement matters, could pose a conflict because the same firm wrote the so-called milestones agreement laying out reform benchmarks the city must meet in order to be able to get bond-sale proceeds—$10 million this month and $20 million in December.