Detroit, Emergency Managers, Rick Snyder — May 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm

UPDATED: More outrageous deception & secrecy in the Snyder administration featuring: Gov. Rick Snyder!


You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s the problem.

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]

UPDATE – 1:05 p.m. 5/31/2013: I have spoken to someone who is well-acquainted with Mayor Bing and Sue Ray and it appears that the concept of “Secret Sue” may be a bit far-fetched, perhaps considerably so. Mayor Bing, apparently, simply doesn’t email. Ms. Ray does most of that for him so, if there’s any need to contact him through email, it actually HAS to go through her. We’ll see where this goes but it looks like maybe WDIV and Robert Davis are conflating this rather mundane result of Mayor Bing’s reticence to use email into an intentional effort to hide things that simply may not exist. Given WDIV’s desire to have a provocative story and what I would characterize as Robert Davis’ often-misguided efforts in the past, this is not entirely surprising, I suppose.

I urge you to read the following in that light. It does not, of course, diminish the fact that Mayor Bing and Governor Snyder were discussing the appointment of Kevyn Orr to be Detroit’s Emergency Manager a month before they publicly acknowledged that such conversations were happening.

– Chris | Eclectablog

It’s no secret that much of what happens in the Snyder administration regarding Emergency Managers and school funding/operations is secret. WDIV’s Kevin Dietz is reporting on more evidence that has been uncovered and this one is a real doozy. Based on emails procured through a lawsuit filed by Detroit activist Robert Davis, Dietz reports that the governor and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing were discussing who Detroit’s Emergency Manager would be long before any of it was public. They arranged for an office staffer to serve as a go-between in their correspondence, passing messages back and forth through a private email account so that the emails wouldn’t reside on state government servers.

The Local 4 Defenders have uncovered new emails between Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and a mystery woman who he was allegedly using as a secret method of communication to keep residents and the city council in the dark about the city’s emergency manager.

The emails give the impression that Bing was trying to make sure there was no paper trail leading back to him on the choosing of Kevyn Orr as the emergency manager.

Emails would be sent to a woman by the name of Sue and she would relay the information to the mayor.

According to the emails, Sue used a private Yahoo account to pass messages from Bing to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s consultant regarding the hiring of Orr.

One email reads, “This is the mayor’s nom de plume private email managed by a trusted confidante of many years. For reasons we all understand, we wish to stay below the radar for a few weeks on Detroit planning.”

Their correspondence took place a full month before the two men were thought to have known about any candidates.

Gov. Snyder is defending his illicit message exchanges saying:

Sue Ray Is an administrative assistant in the Mayor’s office. She facilitates communication between the Mayor and individuals at all levels of business, government and the community. There has never been any attempt to communicate in any way to circumvent a Freedom of Information Act request.

Mayor Bing has always said that he met briefly with Kevyn Orr, at the State’s request, during a business trip to Washington. The State indicated at that time that Kevyn Orr was the leading candidate for the job of Emergency Manager. The Mayor had no role in selecting Kevyn Orr as Emergency Manager.

This is obviously pure hogwash. The governor surely has an email account on the system so there is no reason for him to write emails, send them to Sue Ray so that she could send them to Mayor Bing other than to keep it all under wraps and hidden from the public. While I think much of what Robert Davis has done with his lawsuits has been less than useful, the uncovering of this deception is important and will surely be fodder for the upcoming gubernatorial campaign.

Here is WDIV’s report:

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