Bing says he supports law department's right to question consent agreement's validity

Published On: May 18 2012 11:59:39 AM EDT
Updated On: May 18 2012 05:25:04 PM EDT

He spoke about it on Friday, and it wasn't what he said a day earlier.

DETROIT -

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said Friday that he does support the city Law Department's right to question whether the city's consent agreement with the state of Michigan is valid.

Bing's statement came 24 hours after he emphatically told Local 4 that he did not support or authorize the Law Department's action.

That statement led City Council members who were with him when it was discussed to question his honesty.

Watch: Uncut: Michigan Chronicle's pancakes, politics forum

Bing said Thursday he did not authorize sending a letter. But he changed his tune on Friday.

While he supports the concept of raising the issue, Bing warns it could have dire financial and political consequences if it results in a lawsuit against the state.

What's at issue: City charter language and ordinances saying the city of Detroit can't enter into an agreement with any entity that has an outstanding debt to the city. The Law Department's challenge could put the issue in court. Bing doesn't want that.

The mayor made his remarks at the Michigan Chronicle's annual pancakes and politics forum.

Images: Annual pancakes and politics forum

"We're going to follow the law. We're not going to break the law, so I was supportive of that," Bing said. "But I have some issues, quite frankly ... I don't think that we have the capacity to get into a lawsuit ... My job is to try to concentrate on fixing the city. There's a signed agreement that's in play and we're moving forward with that."

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson also spoke at the event.

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