State replaces Harris as Benton Harbor emergency financial manager

Jan 11, 2013

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Joseph Harris is out as Benton Harbor's emergency financial manager.

The Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board on Friday voted to appoint Tony Saunders II to replace Harris. Saunders' appointment is effective Feb. 1.

Saunders had been working as an adviser on behalf of state Treasury officials with cash-strapped Highland Park, a Detroit enclave.

Then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm placed Harris in charge of Benton Harbor's finances in 2010. The southwestern Michigan city's cumulative general fund deficit was about $3.4 million that year.

Harris was reappointed to the job in 2011 by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Harris is a certified public accountant and former chief financial officer for the City of Detroit. He angered some in Benton Harbor in 2011 when he stripped decision-making authority from elected officials.