Detroit pension board's pick for general counsel controversial - New York News

Detroit pension board's pick for general counsel controversial

Posted: Updated:
Joseph Turner has been chosen as the Detroit police and fire pension board's new general counsel. Joseph Turner has been chosen as the Detroit police and fire pension board's new general counsel.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

As we all know by now, the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption scandal is a tangled web, and in March, attorney Ron Zajac was caught up in it. He served as general counsel for the police and fire pension board and was fired after being indicted for bribery and accused of giving kickbacks to the former mayor and city treasurer.

Attorney Joseph Turner with the law firm Clark Hill has admitted he was "Attorney B" in that indictment.

"I have been called over to the U.S. Attorney's Office, and I have provided testimony to them, truthful testimony," he said.

Turner is named for allegedly giving cash to the suspects who were indicted before receiving a pay increase. He has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

"I have never been informed that I was a target. If I were a target, I could not remain here in this capacity," he said.

Now the police and fire pension board has voted 9 to 6 to hire Clark Hill and Turner as general counsel to replace Zajac, a decision that is not sitting well with everyone.

"To have him still here as our general counsel, I think, is a conflict," said one board member.

"There has been nothing that has been said or that was included in the indictment that would indicate he played any other part in it," said Trustee Cheryl Johnson.

The city's two pension funds will need lawyers as they prepare to battle for control of the system. They have set aside $5 million to fight attempts by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to take over or cut retiree benefits, although the trustee chair said they plan to work with him.

"I want him to have all the facts, too. This is my retirement. I'm very concerned, more so than probably the average citizen. I have a vested interest in this system flourishing, and if I thought anybody could do it better, I'm all ears," said Matt Gnatek.

As we have reported, Orr plans to meet with the city's creditors and bondholders on Friday where he is expected to offer them pennies on the dollar for what they are owed by Detroit. Depending on what happens, the city could file for bankruptcy.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Hazel Park man who lied about assault charged with home invasion

    Hazel Park man who lied about assault charged with home invasion

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:24 AM EDT2014-09-16 05:24:41 GMT
    Holloway said he was jumped by a group of guys over a cigarette. But the story unraveled and Holloway was lying. A woman who saw the story said that Holloway broke into her home and was caught by her boyfriend who delivered the beating.
    Holloway said he was jumped by a group of guys over a cigarette. But the story unraveled and Holloway was lying. A woman who saw the story said that Holloway broke into her home and was caught by her boyfriend who delivered the beating.
  • 2 men killed after one sets the other on fire

    2 men killed after one sets the other on fire

    Friday, September 12 2014 8:47 PM EDT2014-09-13 00:47:07 GMT
    Detroit Police tell us that two men were killed Friday morning at a home on Springwells street in southwest Detroit after an apparent domestic turned deadly.
    Detroit Police tell us that two men were killed Friday morning at a home on Springwells street in southwest Detroit after an apparent domestic turned deadly.
  • Woman killed in shooting in Inkster

    Woman killed in shooting in Inkster

    Friday, September 12 2014 8:22 PM EDT2014-09-13 00:22:50 GMT
    Police in Inkster are investigating a shooting that has left a 26-year-old woman dead tonight.
    Police in Inkster are investigating a shooting that has left a 26-year-old woman dead tonight.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • High-fiving strangers in NYC

    High-fiving strangers in NYC

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:01:29 GMT
    Looking for a taxi cab is a common sight in the city. For some people, an outstretched arm is usually the sign for hailing a cab. A few other folks see it as something else.Meet Meir Kalmanson. He sees a hand in the air as an opportunity to lighten up a person's serious or frantic state. Meir decided to high-five his way down Fifth Avenue. The video of his rebellion of social norms has gone viral.
    Looking for a taxi cab is a common sight in the city. For some people, an outstretched arm is usually the sign for hailing a cab. A few other folks see it as something else.Meet Meir Kalmanson. He sees a hand in the air as an opportunity to lighten up a person's serious or frantic state. Meir decided to high-five his way down Fifth Avenue. The video of his rebellion of social norms has gone viral.
  • Empire State Building Facebook review controversy

    Empire State Building Facebook review controversy

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:52:40 GMT
    When it comes to visiting New York City landmarks, half the fun is reviewing them afterward on social media sites like Facebook. But some folks say the Empire State Building is reporting their reviews as spam.
    When it comes to visiting New York City landmarks, half the fun is reviewing them afterward on social media sites like Facebook. But some folks say the Empire State Building is reporting their reviews as spam.
  • NY grand jury to weigh charges for Tony Stewart

    NY grand jury to weigh charges for Tony Stewart

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:43 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:43:05 GMT
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by county sheriff's investigators.
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by county sheriff's investigators.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices