2 appointed by Detroit council to Financial Advisory Board - FOX 32 News Chicago

2 appointed by Detroit council to Financial Advisory Board

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Members of the Detroit City Council (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Members of the Detroit City Council (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

"This shows that the council has already, always, standing ready to move forward with this process," said Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh.

He and five of his colleagues have selected their appointments for the Financial Advisory Board.  Investment firm president, financial analyst and accountant W. Howard Morris, former emergency manager for Inkster Schools, will serve a three year term.

"He's a Detroiter.  He has a long history of finance and complex financial transactions, so I think he'll be a great addition," said council member Saunteel Jenkins.

CFO of the UAW's retiree medical benefits trust Mary Beth Kuderick will serve for one year.  She's worked with General Motors and the UAW to turn around their health care plans saving GM millions of dollars.

Three of the council members did not participate in the vote, JoAnn Watson, Brenda Jones and Kwame Kenyatta, because they did not vote in favor of the consent agreement.  So, based on principal, they're not participating.  However, Kenyatta is questioning the qualifications of the newly appointed program manager.

"What have you turned around?  If your ship is sinking and the passengers are drowning, how do you jump to another ship that's in a tailspin and say that you're going to do such a great job?"

Kenyatta talking about Kriss Andrews, chief financial officer for Energy Conversion Devices in Auburn Hills, which filed for bankruptcy in February.  He has just been named the program manager director under the consent agreement and will make $220,000 a year.

"It's a red flag.  It's not necessarily a huge red flag," said council member Ken Cockrel, Junior.

"We know about the company that has failed.  We want to hear what you're success were because ultimately that's what we're looking for," Jenkins said.

City Council is asking that Andrews meet with them.  He tells Fox 2 the bankruptcy is the result of events in the worldwide solar market and points to his previous success with global business advisory firm BBK helping automotive suppliers through their restructuring.

"Ultimately it's the mayor's call and the governor's call.  They seem to have comfort with him, and I'd be interested in hearing the story behind that, as well," Cockrel said.

Andrews begins work in July.  The Financial Advisory Board meets at 2:00 p.m. Friday at Wayne State.

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