What the good judge giveth, the Appeals Court taketh away
On March 20th, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sent Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown packing as she overturned the work of the review team that put him in place. Once again it was for violations of Michigan’s Open Meeting Act.
I characterized that decision as “for now” and I was, not surprisingly, right. Yesterday, the Court of Appeals overturned her ruling and Brown is back in while the state appeals the decision.
The Michigan Court of Appeals reinstated Flint emergency manager Michael Brown today, meaning Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and the Flint City Council once again lose their authority to run the city.
The court ordered that Brown will remain in office pending the state of Michigan’s appeal of an earlier ruling from Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, which restored power to the elected mayor and city council.
Walling and the council were officially back in office for about four days, since Aquilina made her ruling from the bench on Tuesday, but her order wasn’t officially signed and entered into the system until Thursday.
She ruled that the state violated the law in appointing Brown because the state-appointed financial review team didn’t meet in public in accordance with Michigan’s Open Meetings Act.
A decision on the state’s appeal of that ruling could come within 21 days.
Brown issued a statement saying this is “all part of the process”.
Actually, no it’s not. It’s not at all “part of the process” for the state to trample on the Open Meetings Act, create ridiculous amounts of confusion and delay and, meanwhile, our cities are still struggling and the state is still doing NOTHING to reinvest in them to make them attractive places to live, raise kids, and open a business. This “process” has been clumsy and ham-handed and the Snyder administration should be embarrassed.
[Photo credit: Anne C. Savage, used with permission.]