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Detroit officials count city money in the face of consent agreement legal challenge

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Detroit City Council chamber

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council are sitting down this morning to discuss keeping the city afloat financially.

Bing and Detroit’s Chief Financial Officer have warned the city might run out of money by the end of this week.

When Detroit signed a consent agreement with the state more than two months ago, it was supposed to keep the city out of just this position.

But the city’s top lawyer, Krystal Crittendon, is challenging the deal’s validity in court.

She has support from several City Council members—and at one point, got encouragement from Bing.

But now Bing is telling Crittendon and City Council to back off. The state has threatened to withhold revenue sharing money that was part of the consent deal if they don’t.

It’s not clear whether Bing can do much other than rally Council members to turn against the legal challenge. Crittendon can act independently as the city’s top attorney.

City Council President Charles Pugh—who voted for the consent agreement two months ago—says he now wants a judge’s opinion on it.

Pugh has also been skeptical of Bing’s claim the city will run out of money this week. He says he’ll be pressing that question this morning.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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