Press conference by City of Detroit retirees calls for NO vote on Emergency Manager’s Plan of Adjustment


Contact:  Stop Theft of Our Pensions Committee — 313-680-5508


Thursday, July 3, 2014, 11:30 am,

Federal Courthouse (across from court) 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.

Jones Day must think the second time’s the charm in the Detroit bankruptcy. Pensioners who voted to reject the Plan of Adjustment are being sent second ballots to vote again.

July 2, 2014, Detroit, MI, USA – Retirees have been sent out letters notifying us we may vote a second time on the Detroit Plan of Adjustment if we previously voted to reject the plan (see attached). It is unheard of in any voting process to have a second vote before the first vote is even counted. The Stop the Theft of Our Pensions Committee is calling for retirees to reject the plan in light of the completely undemocratic process to control the vote.

We question the legality of the millions of dollars of annuity clawbacks. We wisely put our hard-earned money away to have savings when we were older and it was managed for us by the pension fund. There is a six year statute of limitations with proven fraud as the only way to claw back annuities. No fraud has been shown in a court of law in connection with the annuities.  And especially, no fraud has been shown by any pensioner in connection with annuity payments based on our contributions to the fund.

During our time as city workers we sacrificed and took pay cuts concessions at every contract to save the city money.  The annuities were a trade-off in exchange for these concessions.  Now the City of Detroit turns around and is trying to take our healthcare and savings. This is our wealth!

In the Plan of Adjustment there are allegations that the General Retirement System Pension Trustees caused it to be under funded by engaging in misappropriation of assets for personal use, poor investment practices, bribes and more. We ask why the trustees would back a plan that would accuse them of fraud?  Why would they, along with the “Official Retirement Committee (paid by the city) and other retiree organizations want to go down in American history as encouraging their members and constituents to slit their own throats by voting “yes” in contravention of the state constitution.

In contrast, we say Orr and Judge Rhodes should claw the back the $300 million paid to UBS and Bank of America for their interest rate swaps which smell of fraud, not turn over another $85 million to these banks.  What about clawing back the $537 million paid to UBS, JP Morgan Chase, Loop Financial and Morgan Stanley out of the $1 billion in bonds that was supposed to for water department infrastructure repair, and instead went to terminate interest rate swaps on these bonds.  UBS actually admitted to fraud in connections with some of its water bonds.  We say Make the Banks Pay.  Stop the illegal inhuman shut-offs of Detroit residents.


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