Day 21: Detroit’s Bankruptcy Trial

Day 21: Detroit’s Bankruptcy Trial

9:18 a.m.

Judge Rhodes updated the remaining trial schedule:

The city will present a handful of witnesses to substantiate the FGIC settlement tomorrow. Then Wednesday, the court’s expert witness will be on the stand.

Closing arguments will be next week.

Judge Rhodes will announce his opinion on plan confirmation the week of Nov. 3

9:10 a.m.

“Really? Seriously?”

That’s how Judge Steve Rhodes questioned Sam Alberts, of Dentons law firm, who represents the Official Committee of Retirees in the case.

Rhodes’s disbelief relates to the committee’s lack of “sign off” on the agreements reached for the 330 library retirees and six from Cobo Hall that now allow their inclusion in the general retirement system and the new health care “VEBAs” – Voluntary Employee Benefit Associations – which will administer retiree health care instead of the cit.

Alberts told the judge there is a 1:30 p.m. mediation session today.

“I don’t want an explanation,” Rhodes told him. “I want you to resolve it now.”

City attorney Heather Lennox, of the Jones Day firm, told Rhodes there would be an updated Plan of Adjustment filed reflecting the “FGIC” settlement last week and the new agreements for the library and Cobo Hall retirees.

“I don’t think the language in the plan is going to change. That’s what we’ve been negotiating, but the issue that is coming up is an issue that is beyond the scope of the plan. It involves what benefits will be provided by the VEBA trust, and that’s not something the city decides,” Lennox said.