A government inspector general says President Barack Obama's administration played a key role in the General Motors bankruptcy in 2009 as pensions were cut for salaried Delphi Corp. retirees but not for unionized workers and retirees of the supplier.
The report issued Thursday stopped short of saying the administration's role was right or wrong. It made no recommendations.
About 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees, nearly half in Ohio and 1,500 from Delphi Packard in Warren, saw their pensions cut by as much as 70 percent during GM's bankruptcy.
The report says administration officials indicated they acted quickly to avoid GM's failure.
The Treasury Department, which oversaw the president's auto task force, took issue with the IG report. Assistant Treasury Secretary Timothy Massad said the pension decision was made by GM and was "driven by sound commercial reasons."
Den Black with the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association said the report made clear something salaried retirees had long suspected. "The administration and the Treasury and the Auto Task Force were clearly the drivers relative to the decisions made as the 40-day GM bankruptcy played out," he said.
A statement released by Niles resident Bruce Gump, chairman of the Warren Legislative Group and vice-chairman for the board of directors of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association, said the retirees are encouraged and pleased with the report that supports the group's position that the U.S. Treasury was behind the decision.
He called it "unprecedented intrusion of government into a private industry bankruptcy," and urged the Treasury to immediately comply with the subpoena issued last week by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for the release of all records related to the bailout.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., last week subpoenaed Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew for all records and communications referring or relating to retirement or pension benefits for GM and / or Delphi Corp. employees.
The salaried retirees group has called for the treasury to correct "the unfair, illegal and unethical treatment of the Delphi Salaried Retirees by restoring the full pensions earned over decades of work with GM and Delphi, just like those who were represented by the major unions have received."