Emergency Financial Managers, Emergency Managers — February 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Judge smacks down Pontiac Emergency Financial Manager, says he’s running the city “like a dictatorship”


Some truth-telling from the judicial branch

Back in December, Pontiac Emergency Manager Lou Schimmel unilaterally decided to change the composition of the city’s pension board from 11 to 5 members. He thought they were wasting time and money and felt his role as the EM gave him the ability to simply do what he wished.

Yesterday, Oakland County Judge Rae Lee Chabot upheld a preliminary injunction filed by the pension board and reversed Schimmel’s action. In her smack-down of Schimmel’s move, she said “That’s what it looks like — it looks like a dictatorship where the (emergency financial manager) said, ‘look, I’m going to turn over the board so there is no opposition.'”

Schimmel’s lawyer Stephen Hitchcock told the judge that Emergency financial managers are “not subject to the Open Meetings Act.” Judge Chabot disabused him of that notion saying, “Well, I think they are subject to the Open Meetings Act.”

Schimmel says he will obey the judge’s ruling.

It’s nice to have someone in the judicial system in this state call BS on this BS and doing some truth-telling about the nature of Emergency Financial Managers. They most certainly ARE acting like dictators and the lack of outrage in this state is appalling, particularly from our Republican friends who never skip an opportunity to tell us how important “small government” is. It’s important, I guess, right up to the point where it gets in their way of taking over poverty-stricken African American communities or regulating what happens in the uteruses of women.