VIDEO: Snyder administration officials seek to avoid subpoenas and testimony in Detroit bankruptcy


Pay no attention to the hypocrite behind the curtain

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]

Last Friday the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union issued subpoenas for Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Michigan treasurer Andy Dillon, and “transformation manager” Richard Baird, compelling their testimony regarding the Snyder administration’s dealings with unions prior to the bankruptcy filing. The unions claim that administration officials, including Orr, did not negotiate with them in good faith, a condition for being qualified to go into Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy. The UAW and other creditors have also issued subpoenas.

The same day, lawyers for the Snyder administration asked federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes to quash the subpoenas.

The request was filed Friday and said the subpoenas and depositions would subject Snyder and the others to “unnecessary and unduly burdensome discovery.”

Several creditors, including the United Auto Workers union, want information that could bolster their attempts to prove Detroit is ineligible for bankruptcy relief.

“Each of these requests is outside the scope of discovery allowed by this court and thus subjects these state employees and officials to an unnecessary and undue burden,” Assistant Attorney General Steven Flancher wrote in a court filing Friday.

Under federal bankruptcy law, Detroit most prove it is insolvent, had proper state authorization to file for bankruptcy, negotiated in good faith with creditors and desires to reduce it debt burden.

Judge Rhodes will hold a hearing on whether Snyder, Orr, Dillon, and Baird must comply with the subpoenas on September 10th.

The question is what, exactly, are they hiding? It’s a fair question, one asked pointedly in this video:

So, tell us, Governor, given the pedestal of transparency, dashboards, and metrics on which you claim to have built your career, what is that you don’t want us to know?