Monday, April 02, 2012

Federal Judge Declines Detroit Union's Request to Block Consent Agreement

April 2, 2012

Federal judge declines unions’ request to block consent agreement


Detroit— A federal judge today declined to issue a restraining order sought by city union leaders to halt action on a proposed consent agreement between Detroit and the state.

Judge Arthur Tarnow instead set a hearing for 2 p.m. Tuesday for both sides to present their case.

AFSCME Council 25 sued Gov. Rick Snyder and state Treasurer Andy Dillon in federal court to stop them from executing a consent agreement or financial stability agreement and block them from appointing an emergency manager. The union, in seeking a temporary restraining order, also sought to stop Snyder and Dillon from opposing ratification of the AFSCME contract.

"The state is trying tostrong-arm the city," said Ed McNeil, with AFSCME. "We want the judge to say the state has no authority tointerfere with the situation."

The Attorney General's office today argued the union has not shown it has suffered irreparable injury or whether the injunction would serve the public interest.

"Under a 'balance of hardships' test, the harm to the city, the students, all employees and the public is greater than any harm plaintiffs would suffer if their request for an injunction is denied," Assistant Attorney General Frank Monticello wrote. The fiscal instability of the state's largest city that could result from issuance of a preliminary injunction does not and cannot serve public interest …"

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