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Snyder: Detroit manager qualified despite tax liens

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Kevyn Orr Kevyn Orr
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Gov. Rick Snyder believes Detroit's incoming emergency financial manager is qualified to help turn the city around despite records showing he had tax liens.

Snyder told reporters Monday in Detroit that the state did a "very thorough process" in vetting Kevyn Orr for the job, and Orr now can focus on getting "Detroit going again" after taking care of the debt.

"He did the right thing by paying off the two liens that were outstanding, but it sort of took some of the shine off of the launch, which was pretty good," said Fox 2 political analyst Tim Skubick. "This is not fatal, but it's the sort of thing that's kind of embarrassing, and the governor, who does not like surprises, I'm sure he was not very happy."

News reports surfaced that the financial guru sent to save the city did not have his own house in order with more than $30,000 in liens on his $1 million Maryland home for repeated failure to pay a nanny tax, which he has since paid.

"It's something that was overlooked.  It's been addressed, and he took care of it.  So my view is let's move on, and let's get back to growing the City of Detroit," Snyder told us.

While the governor remains confident, many on City Council remain quiet, not commenting publicly.  Some said through staffers or statements that they'll work together to move the city forward.

"The man made a mistake.  If he's going to be here, them let him be here and cooperate, move forward and get out of here so that we can continue to improve the City of Detroit," said City Council President Charles Pugh.

He also said council is hoping to meet with Orr this week and preserve daily operations for the city's elected officials.

"Kevyn Orr should not be trying to run the daily operations of the City of Detroit.  He should be trying to restructure a debt and then get out, and so that will be what I tell him," Pugh said.

Orr doesn't start until March 25.  As for the first order of business once he does start, the governor continues to place high priorities on lighting and public safety.

"Doesn't everyone want to see Detroit do better?  Let's just work together and solve the problem," Snyder said.

Fox 2 News staff contributed to this report

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