Detroit retirees say city stole from them to exit bankruptcy

Some Detroit retirees are having their say about how Detroit got rid of bankruptcy.

Some Detroit retirees are still fighting the city's bankruptcy.

They took to the streets in protest outside of the Detroit Institute of Arts Thursday where some key players in the bankruptcy were receiving awards.

Two judges, Gerald Rosen and Steven Rhodes were the deciders during Detroit's escape from bankruptcy, received the Dennis Archer Award for public service by the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association.

But outside the DIA, protestors, mostly retired city workers, say the judges decided to use their pensions to get out of bankruptcy.

"It appeared from the very beginning that their main purpose was to go after our pensions and health care," said William Davis, Detroit Active Retiree Association.

Davis says his pension was cut by 23 percent.

"It meant instead of my son going to Michigan State, now he’s at Wayne County Community College. It meant that we rapidly started burning through my savings."

And he claims some 19,000 other city retirees are in worse shape.

"There are a lot of people who didn't make as much money who probably didn't have any savings," Davis said. "Who have to choose between medicine or paying your mortgage."

Detroit was the largest city to ever go bankrupt. Then came "the grand bargain” private foundations pledging hundreds of millions and the state supplying nearly $200 million, even the DIA, expecting to chip in $100 million, all to help keep a portion of the pension alive.

Still protestors say a crime has been committed. They feel their money was stolen and they plan to take their fight to U.S. Supreme Court.


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