- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - In his strongest message yet, a judge overseeing Detroit’s bankruptcy is encouraging the city and creditors to get behind closed doors and make sensible deals.

Federal Judge Steven Rhodes says a plan to get the city out of bankruptcy is due by March 1. He says this isn’t the time for “defiant swagger” or “take-it-or-leave-it proposals.”

Rhodes says he’ll only approve a plan that allows Detroit to credibly move forward. He made his comments Wednesday at a hearing on city-owned art and retiree health insurance.

Rhodes isn’t reluctant to shake things up. He’s twice rejected deals to get Detroit out of disastrous financial deals with banks, saying the agreements were still too generous for banks.

He even rejected a compromise that was negotiated with help from two fellow judges.

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