Detroit federal bankruptcy trial set to begin

DETROIT, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The city of Detroit's federal bankruptcy trial is set to begin Tuesday morning.

The city declared the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

Now Detroit leaders have to prove they have a fair plan that will push the city forward.

Lawyers for Detroit will try to convince a judge to approve a plan to wipe out seven billion dollars in debt.

Their plan also aims to reinvest 1.4 billion dollars over the next decade to revitalize services in the city's neighborhoods.

The revitalization includes reducing blight, investing in police and fire protection and retraining city workers.

Governor Snyder signed the backbone of the plan, known as the Grand Bargain, back in June.

The deal allows Detroit to accept 800 million dollars from the state and non-profit foundations to soften cuts to city pensions and protect city artwork from being sold.

"I've said before that the state cannot bail out the city of Detroit," Governor Rick Snyder said during an interview with CBS Face the Nation shortly after the bankruptcy filing. "Part of the context I would say that to you in is, it's not just about putting more money in a situation. It's about better services to citizens again. It's about accountable government."

Nearly 80 witnesses could take the stand during the trial including Detroit's mayor, various creditor consultants and Detroit billionaire Dan Gilbert.

Ultimately, US Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes will decide whether the restructuring plan is legal and fair.

The trial could last through mid-October.

The entire proceeding is open to the public at the Theodore Levin US Courthouse in downtown Detroit.

Newschannel 3 will be following this trial very closely and will continue to keep you updated.