Detroit EM Orr says bankruptcy trial delays could push his control of city's finances into October

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has stated for the first time publicly he may be still running Detroit into October. 

This comes just two days after Detroit Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes moved the trial on Confirmation of Detroit's Plan of Adjustment from July 21 to August 14. 

"I want to be clear. I'm going to be very respectful of the rights that the council and the mayor have...and that will have to be discussed and adjusted," said Orr. 

Detroit emerging from bankruptcy could go into October "by a few days or weeks" according to Orr, who spoke to the Detroit Financial Advisory Board that has been reviewing Detroit's finances along with the Emergency Manager. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was also at the meeting and said this would be something he would have to discuss with Orr and Governor Rick Snyder, who put Orr in charge of Detroit. 

"The elected officials of the city are committed to the promise the governor has made all along, that the elected officials will take over on October 1.  But we're going to work it out smoothly.  Its going to be a smooth transition," said Duggan. 

Michigan's Emergency Manager Law would allow the Detroit City Council and mayor to vote out Orr after 18 months. That would be September 27. 

Orr also told the FAB that Detroit Firefighters are close to an agreement in closed Mediation in Bankruptcy. That group and current Detroit Police Officers have not reached agreements to support Detroit's Plan of Adjustment. 

Thirty-two-thousand-five-hundred active and retired city employees are in the process of voting on the Plan of Adjustment. Their ballots are due back July 11. 

The so-called grand bargain would give retirees $820 million to soften pension cuts and save the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts from being sold. 

Retirees also say they are also facing huge cuts in their health care making their vote a tough decision. 

Orr told the FAB that Detroit's $18 billion in debt includes $12 billion in unsecured debt. And $10 billion of that is health care and pensions, or about 40% of the $1 billion annual Detroit City budget. 

Orr also told the FAB that bond holders have told city officials in no uncertain terms they plan to fight Detroit's Plan of Adjustment to the bitter end. Some of them stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

Another informational meeting for General System (non-uniform) Detroit Retirees is set for Thursday, June 12, 2014 at Renaissance Unity Church, 11200 E. Eleven Mile Road, Warren, MI 48089 from 1pm-3pm and 6pm-8pm.

The evening session will be available on live stream at http://www.renaissanceunity.org/live-streaming/live-streaming.

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