Experts disagree on chances of success
April 21, 2011- Benton Harbor may be the first city in the state to be completely taken over by an Emergency Manager under a new law that grants such appointees nearly unlimited power over local governments, but the first legal challenge has been filed by two Detroit pension boards.
Detroit’s city pension systems — the General Retirement System of the City of Detroit and the Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit — filed suit against Gov. Rick Snyder and state Treasurer Andy Dillon in federal court this week in an effort to block provisions of the Emergency Manager law that change the city charter and collective bargaining agreements and allow pension fund trustees to be removed.
The retirement systems, which represent about 32,000 current and retired city workers, argue that the new law gives the governor and state treasurer, through the emergency manager, “virtually unchecked power to seize administration and control of the Detroit Retirement Systems and potentially attempt to transfer their assets to any other retirement system.”