Judge's order sidelines Flint emergency manager

FLINT (AP) -- A judge's order issued last Thursday has temporarily sidelined the state-appointed emergency manager for the city of Flint. The Flint Journal reported that a temporary restraining order issued by Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina stemmed from a lawsuit filed earlier in the day by the leader of a union representing city employees. The suit claims a state-appointed review team violated the Open Meetings Act during the process that led to Gov. Rick Snyder appointing Michael Brown as Flint emergency manager late last year. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday. Michigan Department of Treasury spokesman Terry Stanton told The Associated Press that Brown will abide by the court order pending the hearing. Department heads and administrators will handle day-to-day operations for Flint while Brown is barred from actions regarding the city. Flint Mayor Dayne Walling issued a statement saying the city "is sure to provide all regular services that residents and businesses expect" while legal issues continue regarding the state law granting expanded powers to emergency managers. The law was revised last year to allow emergency managers to toss out union contracts and strip local officials from power in some cases. Numerous legal challenges are pending against the law, and a petition drive might give Michigan voters a chance to decide the law's fate during the November election. A similar Open Meetings Act lawsuit temporarily sidelined the Highland Park schools emergency manager last month. The emergency manager was sidelined until the state review team could reassemble and meet in public, allowing Snyder to reappoint him. Published: Mon, Mar 19, 2012