Interim Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. tapped the city’s former auditor general to be the new chief financial officer.

Joseph Harris, the auditor general from 1996 to 2006, was known as a critic of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s administration and financial policies. As CFO, he replaces Norm White, who took over the post late last year under Kilpatrick. White will now return to his post as the director of the Detroit Department of Transportation.

Harris said one of his first priorities would be releasing the city’s long-delayed 2006 annual audit. The overdue audit has twice prompted Michigan to withhold state revenue sharing aid from the city and also prevents Detroit from issuing bonds without state approval.

Harris, who has worked as an adjunct professor at Wayne State University since resigning from the auditor general’s office in 2006, was known as an outspoken critic of Kilpatrick’s fiscal policies. In 2001, Harris ran against Kilpatrick for the mayoral post.

Harris began work last week.

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