Granholm Announces Appointments to Review Team to Examine Ecorse Finances

Contact: Terry Stanton 517-335-2167

June 29, 2009

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that she has appointed a financial review team to examine the city of Ecorse's finances under the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act, Public Act 72 of 1990.                   

The review team must report its findings to the governor within 60 days unless granted a one-time, 30-day extension. 

Under the law, a financial review team must reach one of three potential findings:  a serious financial problem does not exist; a serious financial problem exists, but a consent agreement containing a plan to resolve the problem has been adopted; or, a local government financial emergency exists, because no satisfactory plan exists to resolve the serious financial problem. 

Review team members are:
- Steven Bieda, former state representative (representing state officials or other persons with relevant professional experience);
- James DeSana, councilman, city of Wyandotte (nominee of senate majority leader);
- Frederick Headen, director, Local Government Services Bureau, Michigan Department of Treasury (representing state officials or other persons with relevant professional experience);
- Robert J. Kleine, state treasurer;
- John McNally, attorney at law (nominee of speaker of the House of Representatives);
- Thomas McTavish, Michigan auditor general;
- Gregory Pitoniak, former mayor of the city of Taylor (representing state officials or other persons with relevant professional experience).

The Department of Treasury conducted a preliminary review of the city's finances in March 2009 at the request of the Ecorse Board of Education.  The preliminary review found that a serious financial problem currently exists in Ecorse as a result of the recurring inability of the city to distribute property taxes timely, an improper reliance upon inter-fund borrowing from restricted revenues to cover operating expenses, the inability of city officials to file financial audit reports timely, recurrent accumulated deficit spending, and unresolved material, internal control deficiencies.

For more information about the PA 72 process, visit the Local Government Fiscal Health page located on the Department of Treasury's Web site at www.michigan.gov/treasury.

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