DETROIT -- This city was already sinking under hundreds of millions of dollars in bills that it could not pay when a municipal auditor brought in a veteran financial consultant to dig through the books. A seasoned turnaround man and former actuary with Ford Motor Co., he was stunned by what he found: an additional $7.2 billion in retiree health costs that had never been reported, or even tallied up.
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"The city must take some drastic steps," the consultant, John Boyle, warned the City Council in delivering his report at a public meeting in 2005. Among the options he suggested was filing for bankruptcy.
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