Detroit files for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy

Detroit becomes largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy

By Dave Bartkowiak Jr. - Digital Managing Editor

DETROIT - The city of Detroit has filed for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy.

View document: Detroit bankruptcy filing

Read: Gov. Rick Snyder's statement on Detroit bankruptcy

The city has become the largest in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy protection.

Read: Chapter 9 bankruptcy: What is it?

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr officially made the filing on Thursday afternoon. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder had to authorize the filing. Local 4 spoke with the governor Thursday evening.

"This was a very difficult and painful decision but if you look at it there is no other viable option," Snyder said. "People have been trying to get a resolution in good faith for some time now ... many people may say this is the lowest point in Detroit's history but if we weren't to do this, the way I view it, Detroit would continue going downhill."

Watch: Gov. Snyder explains why he authorized Detroit bankruptcy filing

Leaders at Detroit City Hall were reacting positively to the news, saying the city is going to be OK. Council Pro Tem Andre Spivey said councilmembers were not shocked. They have been waiting for this to happen but they weren't sure what day it would drop.

"I wish we could have had more time for Mr. Orr to negotiate with our employees, our unions, our retirees and our creditors and bondholders. But, this is the decision (Orr) felt he had to make," said Spivey. "But through all of this I want to reassure the citizens that we will still have a city to operate. Things won't shut down right now. Police, fire, DPS, all of our services continue to go forward."

Kevyn Orr joins Mayor Bing in bankruptcy press conference

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing held a press conference Thursday evening to offer his reaction to the filing. He later was joined by Orr who gave a brief statement and addressed citizens. Both Bing and Orr then took questions.

"This is a very, very difficult day for me, as I am sure it is for a lot of citizens here in the city of Detroit," Bing said. "I really didn't want to go in this direction, but now that we're here we have to make the best of it."

Orr said after weeks of negotiations and talks he and his team decided it was time to file for bankruptcy. He said Detroit residents won't see a change in services and paychecks will still be received.

"I'd like to say this to the citizens and residents of the city, to reassure them that it is business in the ordinary course ... nothing changes from the standpoint of the ordinary citizen," said Orr.

Read: Reaction to Detroit's bankruptcy filing

Complete coverage: Detroit Bankruptcy section

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