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Governor's team speaks at Detroit bankruptcy trial

Published: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 12:39 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 12:46 p.m. CDT
FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2013 file photo protesters rally outside federal court in Detroit during a trial to determine if Detroit is eligible to restructure $18 billion in debt. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the UAW's chief lawyer portrayed emergency manager Kevyn Orr and his team as inflexible in the weeks leading to the July bankruptcy filing. Unions and pensions funds opposed to bankruptcy claim there was a lack of good-faith negotiations with creditors before the Chapter 9 filing. If a judge finds that's true, he could throw out the case. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

DETROIT (AP) — A top aide to Gov. Rick Snyder is objecting to being called a "right-hand man" as lawyers question him at the Detroit bankruptcy trial.

Richard Baird has worked closely with Snyder, but until recently wasn't even on the state payroll. He was paid out of a private fund.

Testifying Thursday, Baird says it's his job to find talented people for state government and others who could step in as emergency managers in distressed cities and school districts. He played a key role in the hiring of Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

Unions and pension funds are challenging Detroit's eligibility to remake itself in bankruptcy, claiming Orr failed to hold good-faith negotiations before the July filing.

Earlier Thursday, former state Treasurer Andy Dillon said there was no plan to liquidate Detroit.

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