Court tells judge to take 2nd look at Pontiac cuts

 PONTIAC (AP) — An appeals court is ordering a judge to reopen a challenge to the authority of Pontiac’s emergency manager.

Lou Schimmel finished his work in Pontiac last year. But a lawsuit is challenging his decisions to cut the benefits of retirees.

Port Huron federal Judge Lawrence Zatkoff declined to intervene with an injunction in 2012. But in a 15-0 decision Monday, a federal appeals court ordered him to develop a better factual record.

The issues include whether the emergency manager broke contracts that have constitutional protection, and whether the benefit cuts were “necessary and reasonable.”

Pontiac now has a city administrator who works with the mayor and city council and reports to a state-appointed transition board.

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