Detroit EM Orr quizzed about bankruptcy decision - FOX 32 News Chicago

Detroit EM Orr quizzed about bankruptcy decision

Posted: Updated:

DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit's emergency manager testified Tuesday that he would have listened to any proposal to preserve retiree pensions before the city's bankruptcy filing last summer -- but that he probably would not have agreed to a deal.

CLICK THE VIDEO PLAYER TO HEAR FROM FOX 2'S CHARLIE LANGTON.

Kevyn Orr testified under cross examination on the fifth day of a trial to determine if Detroit's bankruptcy case can go forward. The city must show that it was broke and tried to negotiate with creditors in good faith before filing for Chapter 9 protection in July.

The opposition is led by Detroit's unions and pension funds, which have much to lose if the city is declared eligible to rework $18 billion in long-term debt. Orr has said the pension pools are underfunded by $3.5 billion, but he hasn't publicly proposed what to do about it.

The Michigan Constitution prohibits public pensions from being impaired. Orr believes federal law trumps that provision, although he acknowledged there's no legal precedent.

Under questions from a United Auto Workers lawyer, Orr testified that he and his team were prepared to negotiate with creditors after telling them in a private meeting on June 14 that they might get just pennies on every dollar owed.

"Yes, that's why we called it a proposal," he said.

But when asked if he would have agreed to keep hands off pensions, Orr replied: "Probably not."

Later, Orr, a bankruptcy lawyer, said he couldn't recall specifically asking Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for a state bailout for Detroit pensions. He said it was clear there would be no buckets of cash for any purpose.

Judge Steven Rhodes repeatedly became frustrated with Orr's responses to questions. Instead of replying yes or no, he often wanted to elaborate or couldn't recall.

"You don't remember asking the governor to write a check for 3.5 billion dollars?" Rhodes said.

Orr said, "I don't recall asking it in that context."

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:48:38 GMT
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
  • Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:26:48 GMT
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
  • Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:57:45 GMT
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices