In Michigan, emergency manager Darnell Earley steps down, gets D.C. subpoena

Darnell Earley will resign as emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools amid an uproar of his tenure there as well as his previous tenure as emergency manager overseeing the water supply in Flint, Michigan.

Story highlights

  • The House Oversight Committee subpoenas Darnell Earley to testify
  • Earley is stepping down as emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools
  • The former emergency manager of Flint has drawn criticism for the water crisis there

(CNN)The emergency manager who's a focus of increasing criticism over lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, and decrepit Detroit school facilities is stepping down from his job.

Darnell Earley sent a letter to Michigan's governor Tuesday announcing his resignation from his role as emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools. Hours later officials in Washington sent him a different kind of message: a subpoena.
The House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena on Tuesday evening for Earley to testify Wednesday morning before the congressional committee, according to a staffer on the committee.
    Neither Earley nor his lawyer has accepted service of the subpoena because it "borders on nonsensical," attorney A. Scott Bolden told CNN.
    "We would give it every consideration if he had more time to prepare, was properly served and issued an appearance with a reasonable date," Bolden said.
    Bolden said Earley is not in Washington and "travel is impossible" to appear by Wednesday morning.
    Earley has been at the center of twin crises that have in recent weeks put a spotlight on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's administration.
    From 2013 to 2015, he was emergency manager for Flint. In the city of nearly 100,000 some 70 miles northwest of Detroit, Earley has become a lightning rod for residents who fear health problems because of lead-laden tap water.
    Appointed by the governor to oversee Detroit Public Schools in January 2015, Earley was named as a defendant last week in a lawsuit by the teachers union that called for his ouster and accused officials of allowing the conditions at the schools "to deteriorate to the point of crisis."
    Earley was invited Monday to testify about the water crisis at Wednesday's House Oversight Committee hearing. He declined that invitation Monday evening, Bolden said.
    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, expressed disappointment at Earley's decision not to appear.
    "Mr. Earley has a right to assert the Fifth Amendment, but his abrupt resignation earlier today and his refusal to testify before the Committee make it even more urgent that we hear directly from the Governor as soon as possible about this escalating scandal," Cummings said in a statement.
    Snyder has said he had not been invited to the hearing.

    Governor: He did 'a very good job' under circumstances