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Gary Brown Leaves Detroit City Council Seat For $225K Job With EM

DETROIT (WWJ) - The Detroit City Council has officially lost another member.

City Council President Pro-Tem Gary Brown announced his resignation Wednesday morning.

Brown said he's leaving his seat on City Council in favor of a new role in Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's office "which affords opportunity to effect change for the betterment of Detroiters." Brown's resignation is effective July 1.

"With the knowledge, skills and ability I have acquired over the past decades in both the public and private sectors, this opportunity was the perfect fit in my effort to provide meaningful service to all Detroiters," Brown said in an email to WWJ.

Orr spokesperson Bill Nowling said Brown will become the city's Chief Compliance Officer, earning $225,000 a year. Nowling said Brown will spearhead efforts to right-size and reform city operations as part of a broader operational restructuring effort aimed at improving essential public services and creating a strong, vibrant and solvent Detroit.

Orr called Brown "the type of change agent" the city needs right now.

"He's not afraid to tackle the toughest issues and he brings a life-long love for Detroit to the job. I am excited to have Gary's experience and passion on my team as we make Detroit strong again," Orr said in a statement.

Brown was elected to the City Council in 2009 and has been serving as the president pro-tem for the past 42 months.

"I want to thank the Detroit voters and supporters who put their faith in me as Councilman. I will need your continued prayers for the difficult days ahead. Many unpopular and necessary decisions must be made to return Detroit to its prominent position. I am fully committed to the task at hand," Brown's email said.

Speaking live on WWJ following his announcement, Brown said he's unsure about his political future after Orr returns control of the city's finances back over to elected officials.

"I don't have any plans after Kevyn Orr leaves," he said. "I didn't do this for any political aspirations, at all. I'd never say never, but all I'm going to do is focus every hour on trying to restructure city departments."

With Brown stepping down, only seven council members will remain, since Kwame Kenyatta resigned last week. The council could be losing another member on Wednesday as well, after Orr denied a four-week medical leave for Council President Charles Pugh -- adding that Pugh has until 5 p.m. to either report to work or lose his job.

Brown made a name for himself in Detroit after winning a multi-million-dollar whistleblower lawsuit against the city that led to the eventual downfall of ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who's now locked up in federal prison.

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