Orr to Atlantic City? Yes, as an advisor

Orr to Atlantic City? Yes, as an advisor

6:15  p.m.

Plenty of proverbial ink is being spilled reporting that Atlantic City is under emergency management — and former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr will act as a special consultant to the EM in the New Jersey city.

Here are some of the media reports about the news:

The Press of Atlantic City “Gov. Christie names emergency manager for Atlantic City”

Gov. Chris Christie appointed an emergency manager to oversee Atlantic City’s government and shaky finances, an extraordinary state takeover that critics called an abuse of power that could marginalize local elected officials.

NJ.com “What you need to know about Christie’s Atlantic City plan”

With Atlantic City’s finances in dire straights, Gov. Chris Christie todayannounced the hiring of an emergency manager and a consultant who helped guide Detroit out of bankruptcy to draft a road map for putting the once-thriving gambling destination back on firm footing.

The Detroit Free Press

Detroit’s recently departed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, will act as a part-time legal adviser to financially troubled gambling mecca Atlantic City, N.J., that state’s governor said today.

The Detroit News

Former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is not becoming the new boss of Atlantic City, New Jersey, but he will be an adviser to an emergency management team Gov. Chris Christie appointed Thursday.

5:45 p.m.

Here’s what Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian had to say about Gov. Chris Christie’s appointment of an emergency manager and Kevyn Orr as “special consultant.”

Guardian“After expecting the worse, and hearing rumors of measures that were possibly being discussed about stripping the Mayor and City Council of executive and legislative powers, I was finally able to meet the emergency manager Kevin Levan and counsel Kevyn Orr today at the Governor’s Summit for the first time and found them to be very professional and deferential to us. They made it clear that they recognized myself and City Council as the locally elected representatives of the people of Atlantic City and that they wanted to work together with us in the spirit of cooperation. Although no time table was given, they communicated to us that they wanted to get in, help us fix the City’s finances and get out. From my perspective, Governor Christie has given us more tools to help bring Atlantic City out of its financial distress and restore its long term viability.”

4 p.m.

Here are a few side-by-side comparisons of Detroit and Atlantic City, related to each city’s financial situation and emergency management.


Detroit Atlantic City, New Jersey
Population (2010 U.S. Census) 714,000 39,500
Median Household Income $26,300 $29,200
Current Annual City Budget $1 billion $258 million
Approximate No. of City Employees 9,400 1,100
Monthly City Revenue from Casinos $16 million $18 million
Financial Situation at the time of Emergency Manager Appointment $327 million budget deficit in FY 2012. Decades of population decline.  $35 million budget shortfall. Loss of 8,000 casino jobs

1:15 p.m.

Gov. Chris Christie issued a statement about “Taking Action to Solidify Atlantic City’s Finances.” In it, he named Kevyn Orr as the “Special Consultant to Atlantic City’s Emergency Manager.”

Here’s part of the release from Christie’s office:

As part of his commitment to bringing long-term stability of Atlantic City, Governor Christie believes that expert and objective leadership is needed to restructure the operations, finances and culture of its government. Today the Governor signed Executive Order 171 which appoints an Emergency Manager and Special Consultant to develop and oversee a comprehensive overhaul of Atlantic City’s government.

12:30 p.m.

An executive order from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie names an emergency manager for Atlantic City, but it’s not Kevyn Orr, The Detroit News reports. 

The former Detroit EM will serve as special counsel to Kevin Lavin, who will be the city’s emergency manager.

“He’s just an adviser to the team,” Orr’s Detroit spokesman, Bill Nowling, tells NextChapterDetroit.com. 

Here is the link to Gov. Christie’s executive orders.


Conflicting reports have emerged about whether former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has a new job.

First, New Jersey media reported yesterday Orr would head to Atlantic City to oversee the struggling city’s operations. But Orr’s Detroit-based spokesman, Bill Nowling,told The Detroit News the reports weren’t quite accurate.

Then today, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office distributed as a media advisory an article from the Wall Street Journal that reported:

…Christie is bringing in an emergency manager to take over the day-to-day operations and troubled finances of Atlantic City, an unprecedented extension of state control over a New Jersey municipality.

The Republican governor is expected to announce Thursday that he is hiring Kevn Lavin, a corporate-finance and business-restructuring lawyer…Mr. Christie is also tapping Kevyn Orr – who guided Detroit through its bankruptcy proceedings as its emergency manager – as a part-time consultant in the effort in Atlantic City.

The WSJ reports an unnamed source said the duo will begin work “immediately.”

Gov. Christie’s press office tells NextChapterDetroit.com that he will discuss the emergency management team later today at the “Atlantic City Summit.” The meeting is the third in a series attended by casino executives, local, state and union officials who are discussing how to stem a budget shortfall and revenue declines in the 39,500-resident seaside resort town.

At the second summit, held in November, Christie proposed an emergency manager to oversee spending and hiring. Four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos shut down in 2014, and another three are in bankruptcy.