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U.S. Attorney, Ethics Boards Asked To Investigate Contracting Improprieties Before Detroit City Council Today

Request focuses on actions by attorneys at Detroit-based Miller Canfield law firm in scheme forcing the city to beg for money it already borrowed and has to pay interest on 

DETROIT, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michigan AFSCME Council 25 is requesting criminal and civil investigations be conducted by the U.S. Attorney General Office, the Michigan Attorney General's Office, the Attorney Grievance Commission and the City of Detroit Board of Ethics for millions of dollars in contracting irregularities pending before the Detroit City Council today.

"In order to receive money that the city of Detroit already borrowed, State Treasurer Andy Dillon is forcing the City to grant a contract to the Miller Canfield law firm worth millions of dollars, by agreeing to a Milestone Agreement that Miller Canfield drafted," says Ed McNeil, special assistant to the president.

Attorneys at the Miller Canfield law firm were the primary drafters for the 2011 Public Act 4. When the City announced its financial crisis, the State Treasurer told the City to hire the Ernst & Young accounting firm. When the state began negotiations with the City over the Consent Agreement, under Public Act 4, the City was told to hire the Miller Canfield law firm. That same law firm was being used by the state – in that same series of negotiations.

"That is like the husband in a divorce proceeding dispatching his divorce lawyer to his ex-wife. The end result is what we see in the Consent Agreement, which is slanted heavily in favor of the state and against the City," said attorney Richard Mack.

During these negotiations, the City Council was being given legal advice by Miller Canfield. Members of the City Council asked about whether the firm was tasked to draft Public Act 4, and about their representation. Miller Canfield FAILED to disclose to the City Council that it also represented the state in the same negotiations over the Consent Agreement.

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