Watch CBS News

Christie Names Oversight Team To Dig A.C. Out Of 'Enormous Hole'

By David Madden and Cleve Bryan

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today appointed an emergency manager and a consultant to aid Atlantic City back to financial stability.

By executive order, Christie appointed Kevin Lavin as the city's emergency manager and Kevyn Orr as special counsel to the emergency manager.

lavin_kevin+kevyn_orr _madden
(Kevin Lavin and Kevyn Orr, after being named to manage Atlantic City's financial crisis. Photo by David Madden)


Lavin (left), a corporate finance lawyer, has handled several large-scale recovery efforts.  Orr (right), the consultant, helped guide Detroit through bankruptcy.

While there have been several legislative fixes proposed, Christie said time is running short to do something.

"This is not a move, in any way, to supplant the mayor's role here in the city," the governor said.  "What it's meant to do is to make sure that we have the tools that are necessary to confront the dire circumstance we are confronting."

He stopped short of calling this an outright takeover but said he expects everyone to work together.

Mayor Don Guardian insists he's willing to take help from wherever it may come, but he'll reserve judgment until he understands the scope of the action.

"I think you live for the moment and there's crisis every moment in this job that I've taken on. I'm happy to fix what's broken and that's what we're going to continue to do," says Guardian.

Christie says Atlantic City still is not on the right track and needs help with its finances and management.  He says the state is trying to dig Atlantic City out of "an enormous hole."

City Council President Frank Gilliam is strongly opposed to the takeover.

"I'm opposed that we would basically have outsiders come into the city and dictate the direction of the city without sitting down with some of the city fathers and getting their input," says Gilliam.

Atlantic City lost four of its 12 casinos last year, and three others are in bankruptcy.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.