Orr named adviser to Atlantic City's new EM

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is not becoming the new boss of Atlantic City, New Jersey, but he will be an adviser to an emergency management team Gov. Chris Christie appointed Thursday.

Former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

Christie issued an executive order Thursday appointing Kevin Lavin as the city's emergency manager. Lavin is a New York corporate finance lawyer and adviser to troubled companies.

Orr will serve as a special counsel to the emergency manager, Christie's office said.

Bill Nowling, who was Orr's spokesman in Detroit, said Orr had no interest in running Atlantic City just over a month after finishing his work managing Detroit's bankruptcy.

But Orr has counseled Christie's office on how to handle a state takeover and will continue to advise Lavin on a part-time basis, Nowling said.

"He met with (Christie) over the holidays to give him some advice, but he's not going to be the emergency manager," Nowling told The Detroit News. "I don't think he's going to be on the ground there."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday that Christie is installing a "Detroit-style emergency manager" with sweeping powers over Atlantic City's government and finances.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian

Once a seaside gambling Mecca, four of Atlantic City's 12 casinos closed last year, resulting in a loss of 8,000 jobs. Three other Atlantic City casinos are in bankruptcy.

Nearly half of the city's gambling revenue has been lost over the past eight years.

Last week, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian tried to downplay his city's financial troubles by taking a swipe at the Motor City.

"At least we are not Detroit," Guardian said during his State of the City speech.

Orr was in Lansing on Tuesday for Gov. Rick Snyder's State of the State address. Before the speech, he told The News that he's "blissfully unemployed" after a 20-month stint in Detroit shepherding the city through bankruptcy.

The Washington, D.C., bankruptcy attorney will be back in the state next week for two speaking engagements.

On Monday, Orr will speak to the Grand Rapids Economic Club, Nowling said.

The Detroit Economic Club is hosting Orr on Tuesday for an "exit interview."


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The Associated Press contributed.