Broke Detroit's Pension Fund "Trustees" Use Public Funds To Fund Hawaii Trip

Tyler Durden's picture

"When you have city employees, police, and firefighters have taken pay cuts, it doesn't look good," is the somewhat understated response from Detroit's emergency manager to the city's latest debacle. Amid the deepening financial crisis the crumbling region faces, four trustees of its public pension funds spent $22,000 of retirement funds to attend a conference at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu. "It's one of these things we trustees must do to stay on top of the field," is how one of the trustees defended the decision, a second would not comment, and the other two could not be found according to Reuters (we can only imagine what they were up to). Conference representatives noted that "these are intelligent folks there to do a job, not there for vacation," yet many funds did decide to boycott the event as it sent the wrong message. But irony of ironies, Detroit decided it was appropriate - perhaps since one well attended session covered 'how to avoid front-page scandals.'


Via Reuters,

The city of Detroit may be facing a deepening financial crisis but that hasn't stopped four trustees of its public pension funds from spending $22,000 of retirement system funds to attend a conference in Hawaii this week.




"It especially doesn't look good when you have city employees, police, firefighters having taken pay cuts," said Bill Nowling, spokesman for Orr.




"It's one of these things we trustees must do to stay on top of the field," Riehl said. "It's important that we participate in these conferences. The stakes are too high."


Of the three other trustees from Detroit, one declined to comment and two others could not be reached for comment.




"These are intelligent folks there to do a job, not there to vacation."

... attended because the knowledge gained "will assist them in prudently executing their fiduciary responsibilities/obligations," spokeswoman Andrea Kenski said in a statement.




Some funds boycotted the event, saying it sent the wrong message, particularly at a time when many pension systems face funding shortfalls and the finances of the cities and states that sponsor them remain on shaky ground.




Not everyone came on their fund's dime.


"The appearance was just not good," Monroe County Administrator Michael Bosanac said of the decision not to send Grodi at the fund's expense. "It doesn't conjure up the image of a hard-working conference."



"These are not junkets," Grodi countered. "We are getting educated to make decisions and have huge responsibilities."




One well-attended session covered how to avoid front-page scandals. According to presenter Lydia Lee, a pension attorney from Oklahoma, the session touched on a topic familiar back in Detroit: The indictment this spring of two former city pension officials for an alleged $200 million bribery and kickback scheme, in a case that will come to trial next March.

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Frastric's picture

Damn it feels good to be a bureaucrat...

Divided States of America's picture

These trustees must have previously worked at the big 3 before.

Chuck Walla's picture

And this is why the NAACP and all the unions and "social welfare organizations" tried to stop the take-over. It was the end of their license to steal. Most of these thieves are black. They will march and pontificate on solidarity and the struggle. Just pretty words to guarantee they won't have to struggle if they can just steal a few more dollars from their impoverished brothers and sisters.



kliguy38's picture

Using white vs black is a divisive tactic to keep the masses from focusing on the true evil that has controlled your destinies for centuries. The SAME beurocratic/corrupt slime suck the blood from us in all areas......hell...even the corporate beurocrats albeit private are even more insidious.......just go into any large corporation and look how many are on the dole......its

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Conference representatives noted that "these are intelligent folks there to do a job, not there for vacation,""

Why is the conference being held in Hawaii AT ALL????  If you aren't there for a vacation, it shouldn't matter if its held somewhere MUCH CHEAPER!!   Nothing more than doublespeak.  *Cough*BULLSHIT*Cough* you are there to do a job.....

I think I need to buy a gun's picture

ok, how is this continuing, i mean zero hedge runs articles about bankrupt munipalities, detroit harrisburg etc....have bond holders lost one dime yet? How did we rebuild the boardwalks along the coast? What are the rules if i go an buy a beach house will the government rebuild it for me now? Because i'm not going to sit here anymore i'm going to do what they are doing if this is how we are going forward? How are these bankrupt citites fuunctioning let alone funding hawaiian trips?

dark pools of soros's picture

They are only bankrupt when paying things they don't care for... like when you tell your ex-wife or the credit card companies you are bankrupt but still have hooker and blow money

mjcOH1's picture

"They are only bankrupt when paying things they don't care for... like when you tell your ex-wife or the credit card companies you are bankrupt but still have hooker and blow money"

Don't the per-dayem cover dat, yo?

bonin006's picture

They are bankrupt in the sense of not having enough money to pay future obligations, but they are not down to zero yet in terms of current cash, hence their need to hurry up and spend it before it's all gone.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Just draining the last few drops of blood from the carcass.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Harrisburg was broke enough to stop putting out fires and stop paying firefighters.

savagegoose's picture

so why isnt city hall burnt to the ground?

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

for that matter they could be using web-conferencing, video and slides as needed with audio able to cover everything else.

Not My Real Name's picture

just go into any large corporation and look how many are on the dole......its sickening


Really? This is going on in every large corporation, eh? Bullshit.

I work for a very large corporation. Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- gets a free ride (at least not for long) in any corporation worth its salt. In the private sector, it's produce or perish.

Believe it or not, unlike the government, corporations must pay attention to the bottom line to survive.

malikai's picture

I can think of a few large banks where "the bottom line" is little more than a ceremonioal formality.

espirit's picture

And don't forget to mention "Golden Parachutes" worth [M]illions.

Who in the world (corps) would agree to such clauses in contracts unless unless it was really "chump change" for the oligarchy.

Terminus C's picture

Name the corp and I'll name the dole.

merizobeach's picture

'Name me a street, and I'll name you a bar'  :-)

espirit's picture

Name a caliber, and I'll name the weapon.

WillyGroper's picture

The productivity is for the peeps. Look at Telco, free phones or GE. They're both on the dole. Who do you think is paying for this?

Dr Benway's picture

You must be fucking kidding? No leeches in major corporations? And you got four upvotes for that fecal comment?!

Go fuck yourself moron

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

exception, not the rule.

Everywhere I've looked, magically except where I work now, follows the rule. People are worthless for managers, lie all the time, falsify reports on anything that would prove it and customers pay out the arse to support this. If only they knew.

Chuck Walla's picture

Detroit is a basically  black city governed by a black kleptocracy. They rob each other, and demanding whitey put up even more. This ostensibly is to wash whitey's conscience clean, but is ever more so for guys like mayor Kwame and the last convicted mayor before him, and the rest of black gangsters(NAACP among them) to steal even more. None of the cash trickles down to the street where its needed, you can't even get a cop, much less a dollar.


 Just like Birmingham, negro run cities are just giant slush funds for the friends of a liberal progressive elite in exchange for votes.  If they were not, there would be some real prosecution. But they run free until it cannot be ignored any longer.  No white Progressive really gives a shit if they kill each other. When did Barack ever fly out one black mother of a shot down child from Chicago?  Thats why democrats demand Mexicans come fill the void.




On Black man's take:


In politics, few talents are as richly rewarded as the ability to convince parasites that they are victims. ... generosity is seen as an admission of guilt, and the reparations as inadequate compensation for injustices – leading to worsening behavior by the recipients.


~ Thomas Sowell 


MeelionDollerBogus's picture

fuckjesus, you are one blind racist.

The entire process is built on fraud, force & corruption and that's how the money gets INTO the pension funds.

To think somehow government fraud & force would abate for the final handling of this "money" is incredibly naive. EVERY city has these crooks & it does NOT get better with various selections of skin tone. OR democrat/republican switchups.

What kind of dumb fuck actually believes this racist nonsense in the face of factual fraud & statist coercion?

Kobe Beef's picture

One more time: Genes code for more than skin color. Different races are made from different genes. Genes are why when two tigers fuck, you don't get a pony. Next, you'll be telling us that "tigers" and "ponies" are social constructs. Please.

Race is a biological reality. Racism is a social construct.

Skip the ad hominum attacks and read a fucking biology textbook.

Kobe Beef's picture

Wow. Not a single measurement nor genetic marker included in that study. Just a compendium of social scientists and philosophers. I'd rather ask a doctor, forensic pathologist, or biologist.

Actually, yes. Here's a few examples, with actual empirical science.

Cathartes Aura's picture

oh, yes, because "science" never veers far from it's funding, completely un-biased. . .

Almost a century later, Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Gould described in his book, The Mismeasure of Man, how he remeasured the same skulls used by Morton.  He discovered that Morton must have attempted to confirm to himself what he and other Americans already "knew": that whites were superior to blacks and to Indians.   He did this by accepting data that confirmed his biases, and rejecting data that did not support them.  For example, he included in his sample of black skulls more females than he included in the white sample.  In his American Indian sample, he included more small-brained Inca skulls than large-brain Iroquois skulls.  In addition, he omitted small-sized Hindu skulls from his white sample.  In fact when Gould remeasured the skulls, he found that the average size of black male skulls was larger than that of white males.  He know now that skull size or cranial capacity tells us nothing about intelligence, but in the nineteenth century such "scientific" efforts were used by people to legitimate their racial biases.

your preference for those trained in the cultural institutions is noted.

But that's not what modern genetics reveals. Quite the contrary, it shows that race is truly skin deep. Indeed, genetics undermines the whole concept that humanity is composed of ''races''—pure and static groups that are significantly different from one another. Genetics has proven otherwise by tracing human ancestry, as it is inscribed on DNA.

Kobe Beef's picture

Wow. Stephen Jay Gould. Not a geneticist, oncologist, neurologist, pathologist, or somebody who has to deal in real biology. Why not just quote Foucault, Marcuse, or Boas? They've been trained in those "cultural" institutions, not laboratories, you prefer.

Let's not forget that modern science allows us to measure the actual size and approximate number of neural connections of an individuals' brain, and identify the presence or absence of specific genes which code for greater cognitive function. So let's just ignore all that and debunk 18th century phrenologists. Thanks, Stephen Jay Gould.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

one more time: race as you see it is like identifying entire lineages of families and immunities just based on ONE thing you see - skin color. Actual "racial" categorizations are invisible to the eye and the most powerful ones are immunities. You haven't even come close to seeing it. You're a blind dumb-fuck.

Blano's picture

Generally speaking, I agree with you.  But when it comes to Detroit, he/she is right on the mark.

NoTTD's picture

That doesn't stop it from being true,


Had they been antyhing but black, the article would have been pictorial.  ( The guy in the photo is the state's emergency manager.)  After all, the way to really sell this story is picture of them on the beach.  Not that that would not have been anything but upchuck material.

natty light's picture

To be fair, John Riehl is white.

Saint Pitbull's picture

Hey Trustees!!  Owl Gole invented this amazing new thing called the N-ternet a couple of years ago.  Believe it or not, it's like you are actually at another place and you can "learn things" without even being there!  I know that this is WAY technical and all, but perhaps some of your constituents can explain it to you while you spend some time in the pokey for the misuse of public funds.  Maybe you can even learn new job skills in the pokey from the N-ternet.

PiltdownMan's picture

No body parties like gov't hacks on someone else's dime.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

That man clearly deserves defenestration; it's a crime to over-fill wine glasses like that. And they don't. even. match.


/The Horror, The Horror.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

"Most of these thieves are black. They will march and pontificate on solidarity and the struggle."

how many of those "black theives" are or have ever been the chairman of the Fed and their client banks that have enslaved you and the masses via their debt based currency paradigm which is at the root all the evil and injustices currently destroying this country and most of the globe???

get of that black/white, democrat/republican bullshit man....there is only the wealthy ruling elite against you and everybody else.....................

Chuck Walla's picture

Kaiser, its the rank hypocrisy of "we must help the minority" when all they do is facilitate everybody continuing to steal from them, including their self-esteem and futures.


After passing the "War on Poverty" LBJ summed up the white progressive's philosophy.


“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

– Lyndon B. Johnson 


Sounds like a man who really cares about his downtrodden brothers? Or is that the cynicism of race hating, vote buyer? Guys like Jesse and Al go with the program for cash and power. Fuck the poor,they are pawns as usual. Not many are even aware of how LBJ felt about them. And this hasn't changed since the democrats fired on Sumter to uphold the right of one man to own another.


Kaiser Sousa's picture

hey man, waste all the time you like on that white versus black, left versus right, demopub versus republicat false dichotomy's....

just they way the planned it...

just the way they like it...

Things that go bump's picture

Johnson was the kind of man who would bring friends home in the middle of the night, wake his wife up and make her cook for them. He was known to take his dick out, put it on the table and invite the other men present to do the same. Apparently, he thought he was the biggest swinging dick present, but needed confirmation. Politicians are not noted for being sterling human beings, but a slimier, baser, more crude piece of work was never born. His goal was always the presidency, and he got it, probably by foul means and we suffered him for over 5 years. He led us into constant escalation of the Vietnam war that cost the lives of thousands of young men for nothing. He would never have won reelection, and rather than face the humiliation of defeat he didn't run for his second term, but slunk out of the white house like the coward he was. Not much was ever heard of him again.

Matt's picture

They are the trust-ees, and you, Detroiters, are the trust-ers. Good job with that trust placing.

PiltdownMan's picture

Take a look at the numbers. Detroit retirees outnumber workers by OVER 2-1 and the margin is growing!!!!!!! See this guy's analysis.

freewolf7's picture

Trustees: "Fuck you, Detroit."
Detroit: "See you when you get home."

B2u's picture

They check with Lois Lerner at the IRS and she said it was ok as long as lower level approvals were received. 

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

They get all the benefits of the vaca, and don't even have to pay taxes on the event.  They should have to claim the value of the trip as INCOME and pay taxes on it.  Then we'll see how many "conferences" are held in Hawaii!!