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Sat May 25, 2013, 08:27 AM

What Detroit crisis? Pension fund trustees hang out in Hawaii.

(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.

The trip 4,500 miles west to a four-star resort on the world-famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu doesn't sit well with the top officials now running Detroit's finances under an emergency order from the state of Michigan. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has not ruled out a bankruptcy as the city struggles under a $15 billion debt burden, which is being strained further by its hefty pension obligations.

"It especially doesn't look good when you have city employees, police, firefighters having taken pay cuts," said Bill Nowling, spokesman for Orr. "Middle-class, blue-collar workers, their dream vacation when they retire may be a two-week trip to Hawaii - they don't associate Hawaii with a place you go to work."

http://tinyurl.com/p4u2k5a

The best part of this story is what the topics were at the conference:
One well-attended session covered how to avoid front-page scandals.

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