CHICAGO — Keeping the Detroit bankruptcy case on a fast track, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes Tuesday granted Michigan's request for an expedited hearing on a motion to quash a request to depose Gov. Rick Snyder, and ordered holders of the city's pension certificates and retirees to join the case's first mediation session.
Rhodes set a hearing date of Sept. 10 to consider the state's motion to quash a request that Snyder and other state officials, including Treasurer Andy Dillon, be deposed as part of the case.
Public employee union attorneys filed the request last week, saying they need to establish a timeline of decisions leading up to the city's July 18 filing for Chapter 9 protection. The Michigan attorney general's office on Sunday filed a motion asking the court to quash the motion and protect Snyder and others from having to give future testimony. The state also asked for an expedited hearing on the motion. Rhodes granted that request and ordered that responses to the state's motion to quash should be filed by Sept. 9.
Rhodes also ordered additional parties to join the first mediation session, scheduled for Sept. 17 before Judge Gerald Rosen. In addition to the city, the unions, and other creditors, the judge ordered that the ad hoc COP holders, including Dexia Credit Local, Dexia Holdings Inc., Norddeutsche Landesbank Covered Finance Bank SA and EEPK Bank and its affiliates, join the mediation session. A newly formed nine-member committee representing the city's retirees not formally represented by the unions is also ordered to attend the session.
The parties are required to submit a mediation statement outlining their goals and objectives with Rosen by Sept. 6.
In related news, Rhodes last week moved a hearing from Sept. 9 to Sept. 23 and 24 to hear evidence on the city's first and only settlement, with the banks that act as counterparties on the city's eight interest-rate swaps.
The city will have four hours to argue its case for why Rhodes should approve the settlement, and objectors, including the bond insurance companies, have five hours of presentation time. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr was deposed last week ahead of the settlement trial.