She said Snyder seemed satisfied that Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr held good-faith negotiations with creditors before recommending bankruptcy to the governor in July. Creditors aren’t so sure.
“We’re still very concerned that there were no proper negotiations going into this process and that if we had more time and better negotiations perhaps there could be have been a different result,” Levine said.
Last month, the attorney general’s office tried to keep Snyder on the sideline by invoking executive privilege, a common defense. But that didn’t seem to sit well with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes, so lawyers for the governor said he would agree to be interviewed.
Snyder has repeatedly said bankruptcy was a last resort for Detroit, which has lost 25 percent of its population since 2000 but continues to bear pension and health care obligations struck in better times. He benched local elected leaders in March when he appointed Orr, a bankruptcy specialist, as emergency manager with sweeping powers.
Schindler doubted that Snyder, a certified public accountant who rarely strays from a cautious style of speaking, would give any fuel to critics who want to derail the bankruptcy case.
“He’s a very talented, savvy fellow who understands how the legal system works,” Schindler said. “I’m sure he’ll be careful, precise and honest in what he says.”
Governors and other high-ranking officials generally are protected from testifying in a legal matter. But there are exceptions, especially when the topic is outside their public role. In 1998, President Bill Clinton was on the hot seat when he gave a deposition in a civil lawsuit filed by Paula Jones, who claimed he had sexually harassed her when he was Arkansas governor.