DeChiarra then went on: wants to know whether the governor knew that a sizable section [40 percent] of retirees were attributable to the water and sewer department. Snyder said he did not know that at the time. This is important because while Kevyn Orr calls retirees unsecured creditors, but the employees in the water and sewer department would NOT fall under that category because there are funds directly attributable to them [that is the definition of a secured creditor].
DeChiarra: Under law you could have put a contingency on the approval and make the filing contingent on whether pensions were affected?
DeChiarra: “You chose not to exercise it?”
Did you speak to Mr. Orr at any time about eliminating pension benefits?
Is invoked attorney client privilege ... two times.
2:30 PM -- Court in recess
3 PM --
Sharon Levine from AFSCME is not questioning the governor. She started out by asking about the tentative agreement with the city in December 2011.
Levine: Do you know why the city did not approve the tentative agreement reached with 30 unions.
Snyder: I don’t recall.
Levine is now inquiring about the The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. and its protections for private pensioners. She wants to know his understanding of the average pension payments. She is also asking about the governor’s understanding of Kevin Orr’s turn around plan.
Levine: “Do you know what the Underfunding amount is for Detroit’s pensions, you don’t know what it is.”
Snyder: “It is speculative.”
Levine: "On June 14th and you’re a retiree you cannot tell what your, and I’m speculating here, $18,00 is going to be reduced to, you don’t know what your pro rata share will be and you don’t know what you can do to negotiate this."
Snyder: "The first two questions the answers are yes, the third is speculative."
Levine: If you don’t understand it, how is the 86-year-old retiree supposed to understand it."
Snyder: "That would have been handled in the negotiating process and I believe Mr. Orr was going to have people representing the retirees in negotiations."
3:15 PM --
Ron Kane who is a retiree attorney questioned the governor. He wanted to know mostly about the impact of the Chapter 9 filing on pensioners.
In his final question he wanted to know why the governor, who had the option to put in a contingency that would have saved retiree pensions, he did not. Here is a portion of his answer.
Snyder: "I made the decision not to put any conditions. We were in crisis mode… these are serious issues and could cause delays. I have confidence in the judicial process. In fact I put a line in the recommendation about making sure when a chapter 9 is filed the resulting restructuring plan be a legal plan in the help with the implementation. The problem has been accumulating, a problem that’s happened over 60 years and to the extent it is a national it had not been solved before."