Special Detroit council meeting called by Bing canceled - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Special Detroit council meeting called by Bing canceled

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By Robin Schwartz
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Things got ugly Monday inside Detroit City Council chamber.  A man was tossed out of a special meeting before it even started.  Then the whole thing was canceled when the Law Department told council members proper notice wasn't given under the Open Meetings Act.  The Law Department took the blame for the oversight.

"(If) we would've had this meeting, (we would've been) in violation, and we've got to be as extremely careful as we can be as we move forward because there's a lot at stake right now," said council member James Tate.

Such as the city's financial future.  Council members were supposed to reconsider a three-year, $300,000 contract with the law firm Miller Canfield.  They rejected it last week.  As a result, state officials said they won't let the city use $10 million, which is currently in escrow.

"It's kind of holding our finances hostage and that's unfortunate," said City Council President Charles Pugh.  "We should not be arguing over whether money that the city set aside responsibly earlier this year so that we would not run out of cash by the end of the fiscal year is now being held up over one lawyer contract."

Meantime, we're told Mayor Dave Bing, who called the special meeting, couldn't be there due to a pressing family matter. His office issued a statement saying he'll ask the council for another special meeting next week.

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