Flint Lawmakers Question Earley’s Actions with Legal Fee Charge
State Representatives Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) and Phil Phelps (D-Flushing) called on former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley to withdraw the billing of his attorney fees to the city of Flint and for the state to intercede on the grounds that Earley has no authority or right to make such a request.
“We’ve seen Mr. Earley show his incompetence in his job as the governor’s appointed emergency manager for the city of Flint and Detroit schools, but now we see his lack of integrity as he tries to make the victims of poor decision making foot the bill. To place an additional hardship on a community while in a state of emergency is outrageous,” Neeley said. “The residents of Flint now face the greatest catastrophe this state has ever seen. To tell the families that have been negatively affected they must pay for his legal fees is outrageous and sickening.”
Rep. Neeley contends, the Headlee Act states unfunded mandates from the state shall not be placed onto local units of government. As such, Earley is in violation of the Headlee Act, and his request must be dismissed.
“Darnell Earley continues to act as a man who has done nothing wrong in the city of Flint, from the water crisis to every other decision that has negatively impacted the Flint community. Now, he is making baseless claims and requests at the city’s expense,” Neeley said. “Earley must be stopped from continuing to add to the problems of a community already struggling. If and when he is charged with a crime, he’ll have to find another way to pay for his legal representation. The city of Flint has had enough of this man.”
“Earley getting his legal fees paid for by our residents would literally be adding insult to injury,” Phelps said. “Charging Flint for legal costs for the liability he created in this matter is both absurd and tone deaf to the outcry of our community.”