Detroit EM Orr quizzed about bankruptcy decision

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>>

  • Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:56:25 GMT
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
  • Royal Oak fire crew forced to watch house burn waiting for DTE

    Royal Oak fire crew forced to watch house burn waiting for DTE

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:47:18 GMT
    Roberta Erxleben has lived in her house for 30 years and says her garage would not have been destroyed Sunday had DTE responded to another electric fire sooner.
    Roberta Erxleben has lived in her house for 30 years and says her garage would not have been destroyed Sunday had DTE responded to another electric fire sooner.
  • Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:28 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:28:50 GMT
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
Powered by WorldNow
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