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Kevyn Orr Sorry For Calling Detroiters Dumb, Lazy

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr says he "was being dumb" when he criticized Detroiters for being "dumb" and "lazy" as the city sank fiscally.

Orr released a statement apologizing to Detroit residents for comments published earlier this month in the Wall Street Journal.

Orr said then that, "For a long time the city was dumb, lazy, happy and rich … Detroit has been the center of more change in the 20th century than I dare say virtually any other city, but that wealth allowed us to have a covenant [that held] if you had an eighth grade education, you'll get 30 years of a good job and a pension and great health care, but you don't have to worry about what's going to come."

On Wednesday, he backtracked.

"I would say — very clearly to the people of Detroit — I apologize," Orr said. "That was a slip of the tongue. I was being dumb. I've since come to realize it's a distraction."

This latest comes after, last week, the emergency manager's spokesman Bill Nowling told reporters he believed Orr's cutting assessment was aimed at Detroit's politicians — not its citizenry at large.

Orr was hired in March to fix Detroit's finances. In filing for Chapter 9 protection last month, he said Detroit is insolvent, unable to pay off a long-term debt estimated to top $18 billion.

Orr asked city creditors and Detroit's two pension funds to accept pennies on the dollar in money owed them.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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