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Detroit Deputy Mayor says hospitalized Bing is alert, involved

As Detroit and the state move ahead to implement a consent agreement, Mayor Dave Bing remains in the hospital.

Bing was just released from the hospital earlier this week, after undergoing surgery for a perforated colon.

But he ended up back in the hospital on Tuesday with pulmonary embolisms. His top spokesman says the mayor is now recovering well.

Bing has designated Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis to act on his behalf.

But Lewis says Bing is alert and very involved in the ongoing process to implement the city’s new deal with the state.

“I’m just standing in his shoes right now, until he recovers. But Mayor Dave Bing is clearly the mayor and will be the mayor,” Lewis told reporters Thursday.

“His mind is sharp, he’s laughing and, you know, calling me during the day. So he’s fully there to help and support the process that we’re going through here in the city.”

Detroit’s city charter empowers the Deputy Mayor to act in a restricted role if the mayor is temporarily absent.

But if Bing were forced to step down, Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh would become interim mayor until a special election could be held.

The consent agreement says the mayor must make certain key appointments for powerful new posts –a Chief Financial Officer and Project Manager--within the next week.

Lewis says he and Bing are already discussing possible candidates, and the Mayor will make those appointments.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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