(Adds background on Orr and Atlantic City)
NEW YORK Jan 22 (Reuters) – New Jersey governor Chris Christie plans on Thursday to introduce former Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr as part of an emergency management team for struggling Atlantic City, according to a press invitation to the event.
Atlantic City’s municipal finances have declined with the fortunes of the local casino industry, which has suffered steep losses from competition in nearby states.
The emergency management team includes Orr. A former corporate bankruptcy lawyer at the firm Jones Day, he most recently guided Detroit through the biggest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy.
Atlantic City lawmakers earlier this month endorsed steep budget cuts but rejected the idea of a state-appointed emergency manager in favor of local control of the city’s budget and hiring decisions.
Four of the city’s 12 casinos closed in 2014. A fifth, Trump Entertainment’s Taj Mahal, narrowly averted closing but remains in bankruptcy. The operating unit of Caesars Entertainment, the owner of Bally’s Atlantic City and Caesars Atlantic City, filed for bankruptcy earlier in January.
Stabilizing the city’s budget has been the focus of major summits backed by Christie and leaders in the state legislature. (Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco, Hilary Russ and Megan Davies in New York)