Detroit – — Gov. Rick Snyder and other officials should not have to identify candidates for Detroit’s emergency manager job filled when Kevyn Orr was hired in March, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
In a filing late Friday, the state asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes to block the UAW and the city’s largest union from trying to identify the candidates while questioning Snyder, Treasurer Andy Dillon and the governor’s transformation manager, Richard Baird, under oath next week.
The filing reveals that some of the candidates are elected officials “whose re-electability could be affected by disclosure of their identities.”
The names are irrelevant, could cause embarrassment, and would violate those candidates’ privacy and assurances from Snyder’s office that their names would be kept confidential, according to the filing by special Assistant Attorney General Dawn Copley.
The state is willing to reveal the names to Rhodes so he can decide if their identities are relevant. The state offered to release information about the candidates’ qualifications and backgrounds.
The state wants Rhodes to issue a protective order and hold a hearing by Tuesday.
Snyder will be questioned under oath Wednesday by the UAW and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Both unions are trying to kick Detroit out of bankruptcy court.
Dillon will be questioned Thursday, as will Baird.
The unions want to ask Snyder about his decision to authorize the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
The unions are trying to prove the city negotiated in bad faith before filing for bankruptcy July 18 and that the Chapter 9 case violates the state constitution's protection of vested pensions earned by government workers.
Activist Robert Davis, who is awaiting trial on charges he stole more than $125,000 from the cash-strapped Highland Park school district, unsuccessfully tried to identify the other emergency manager candidates this summer.