'It's on me': Kevyn Orr says liens on Maryland home are paid up
5:00 PM, March 16, 2013
New Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr speaks to ...: Detroit's newly appointed emergency financial manager speaks to media at the Cadillac Square Building in Detroit on Thursday, March 14, 2013. Jarrad Henderson/DFP
Detroit’s soon-to-be emergency financial manager says he’s now paid up on state liens filed on his Maryland home for unpaid taxes on child care for his two children.
Washington, D.C., lawyer Kevyn Orr apologized for the oversight, saying he always tries to be attentive to such matters and wasn’t aware of the liens until he learned of them Friday.
“It’s on me — it’s something that fell through the cracks,” he said today, two days after Gov. Rick Snyder announced Orr as his pick to take charge of fixing Detroit’s finances and restructure a city government drowning in debt.
Orr, 54, a University of Michigan graduate, worked for the powerful Jones Day law firm until he resigned last week to take the Detroit job.
“It’s remarkably embarrassing,” he said of the liens. “I called and paid it up Friday. I wanted to make sure I addressed it as soon as I could.”
Montgomery County Circuit Court records show the state of Maryland has filed four liens in the last four years against the $1 million Chevy Chase, Md., home where Orr lives with his wife, Dr. Donna Neale, and their two children.
More: Full coverage of Detroit's financial crisis
Two liens from 2009 and 2010, totaling $16,432.58, are listed as paid in the records. Two additional liens totaling $15,797.68 from 2011 and 2012 were listed as unpaid, the records show. Those are the two Orr said he paid Friday. The payments could not be verified by the Free Press today.
Orr took responsibility for the liens, the two most recent of which were for unpaid unemployment insurance taxes.
Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Orr and his wife use “an outside tax accountant to prepare and file their returns, and help ensure full compliance with all federal, state and local tax laws.”
“There was apparently an oversight related to a childcare provider unemployment insurance payment,” Wurfel said in a statement. “Immediately upon learning of the potential issue, he took action at once to look into and resolve with state of Maryland. He takes full responsibility for ensuring any necessary fix and making payment in full ASAP.”
Orr, who officially starts the new job March 25, will lead efforts to resolve Detroit’s financial crisis. The city has more than $14 billion in bond debts and long-term employee pension and health care benefits, in addition to a $327 million accumulated budget deficit.
Orr has built a career on bankruptcy turnarounds and helped in Chrysler’s 2009 bankruptcy restructuring.