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Orange County no longer #1 when it comes to Municipal Bankruptcy

Chicken Little John Moorlach

Supervisor John Moorlach, Orange County’s very own Chicken Little, can no longer make the claim that he predicted the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Jefferson County, Alabama has knocked us down a notch by filing a $4.1 billion bankruptcy petition yesterday.

The Orange County Register’s Jon Lansner writes:

Orange County’s municipal bankruptcy of 1994 is no longer the largest local government default on its debts in U.S. history.

Thank you, Jefferson County of Alabama!

Associated Press reports this afternoon:

Leaders of Alabama’s most populous county have filed an estimated $4.1 billion bankruptcy, the largest for a municipality in U.S. history. Soon after Jefferson County Commissioners on Wednesday voted to declare bankruptcy over sewer and other debt, their lawyers filed the paperwork. Two months after it seemed Jefferson County had struck a deal to settle the debt, Commissioner Jimmie Stephens moved for the bankruptcy. It was approved 4-1. He says the commission and creditors never could complete the tentative agreement they reached in September and remained about $140 million apart.

Jefferson County has been trying since 2008 to avoid filing bankruptcy over the debt, which resulted from a mix of outdated sewer pipes, the lagging economy, court rulings and public corruption. At the same time, it faces a separate shortfall of as much as $50 million in its operating budget because courts struck down a major local tax as unconstitutional.

Orange County filed its $1.7 billion bankruptcy on December 4, 1994, after risky bond investments by County Treasurer/Tax Collector Bob Citron went south.

Jefferson County has been trying since 2008 to avoid filing bankruptcy over the debt, which resulted from a mix of outdated sewer pipes, the lagging economy, court rulings and public corruption.

Maybe it’s just me but I got a chuckle out of the above information. Sewer pipes process sewage containing a significant amount of No. 2; John Moorlach now represents Supervisorial District No. 2 and; as the title of Lansner’s story headline reads We’re No. 2!

Does this mean that Moorlach is No. #2?