It’s now up to the Michigan Court of Appeals to rule on whether state review teams that found financial emergencies in Detroit and Flint broke Michigan’s open meetings law. A three-judge panel heard arguments in the case Thursday.
Attorney Andrew Paterson says the public has a right under to know how a review team goes about its job.
“It is determining the financial condition of a local unit of government and it is reporting on that financial condition,” says Paterson.
Opponents say the public deserves to know what went into the deliberations that led to an emergency manager for Flint and a legally enforceable consent agreement between the state and Detroit.
The attorney representing the state says the review teams are not covered by the open meetings law because they only offer advice to the governor.
“It’s the tail wagging the dog,” says Eric Restuccia. “The reality is the governor is at the top of this pyramid. And the governor is not, he’s a solitary executive, is not subject to the Open Meetings Act.”
Restuccia says it’s up to the governor to ultimately decide whether an emergency exists and whether to take action.