Steven Wojtowicz retired from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department after 31 years of work. He’s one of the “pro se” or individual objectors Judge Steven Rhodes is allowing to testify or question witnesses as part of the city’s bankruptcy trial.
In advance of this testimony this week, he spoke with WDET/Next Chapter Detroit’s Sandra Svoboda. Here’s the document he filed with the court requesting time during the trial.
Here’s a transcript of that conversation:
Sandra Svoboda: Why file an objection in the bankruptcy case?
SW: My original objection was that obviously I thought the recoupment was unfair, the ASF recoupment was unfair but adding on the interest rate wasn’t in the documentations and during the negotiations for the pensions the 6.75 percent was never brought up. It wasn’t brought out, up until the ballots were sent out that people, some people knew about the 6.75 percent if they attended the presentations or received the revised ballot or talked to someone about the 6.75 percent. That was my biggest objection that you know adding on that interest doubles the recoupment amount.
SS: What have you seen as some of the big issues in the trial so far?
SW: It seems like they’re just interviewing people I don’t see any big changes other than doing some negotiations with some of the banks and some of the insurance companies. I don’t see much changing I guess for the bankruptcy. Everything just seems to be what it is is going to be what it is, what they decided before the confirmation hearing. I’m not sure if Rhodes is going to bring up anything about our annuity and the interest rate. I’m not sure. I haven’t heard anything positive about that.
SS: What are you anticipating your testimony will be like?
SW: In the docket that they came out with response to my objection, a couple of things that they mentioned now here, one things, the 6.75 percent what they said is they clarified the 6.75 percent and added it into the bankruptcy documents but my other questions was the recoupment with interest never ends. It’s a lifetime annuity. But they responded back in that latest docket that no, this ends after you pay back your recoupment. It stops. But in the ballot and in their presentation it says that this goes on for a lifetime. I asked to get a clarification of that. That’s going to be one of my questions.
SS: Do you feel like your testimony made that change happen?
SW: I think so because that’s the only place I see it is in their response to my objection. So I would think so. I get a clarification like again, I can’t find it in the bankruptcy documents but it’s in that one docket from the attorneys from the city. So I’ve got to get a clarification on that.