Detroit Officials Take $22K Taxpayer-Funded Hawaii Trip
Pension trustees attend conference at resort with public money
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2013 3:23 PM CDT
Two women chat after arriving at Ala Moana Beach, near the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, where preparations continued for the APEC Summit.   (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

(Newser) – Detroit is $15 billion in debt, but that hasn't stopped some officials from visiting a resort in Hawaii on the public dime. Four city public pension fund trustees used $22,000 of retirement system funds to attend a conference at a four-star resort in Honolulu this week, reports Reuters. Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr is not impressed. "It especially doesn't look good when you have city employees, police, firefighters having taken pay cuts," said his spokesman. "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." Orr is now considering removing the trustees from their posts, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Many other funds from around the country boycotted the conference due to its location, the AP reports. Only 650 people attended this year's National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, down from 1,000 last year, because of what organizers say is a "headline risk." But the Detroit attendees stand behind their trip. "It's one of these things we trustees must do to stay on top of the field," says one. "It's important that we participate in these conferences. The stakes are too high."

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May 26, 2013 10:52 AM CDT
This is Obama style leadership Friggin democrats, take a vacation and tell us it is necessary!! Detroit is a democratic cesspool of idiots who pay taxes for this treatment! Get what you deserve!
May 26, 2013 9:43 AM CDT
Most national conventions are just the government or private industry throwing money into the ocean. Nothing productive happens at these conventions and it just serves as a free vacation for the attendees. These conventions should be held in $hitholes like Detroit or Shreeveport, LA. Since these places are in the middle of the country, travel expenses would be reduced. Let's see how many people attend a convention if it were held in Toledo or Flint.
May 26, 2013 8:54 AM CDT
ha ha x9999999999999