We are sorry to report that James Spiotto passed away last week from a sudden heart attack. He was 73.

Regular readers here will recognize his name from quotes from him and links to his work. He became the nation’s leading legal authority on municipal bankruptcy through a long career at Chapman & Cutler in Chicago.

Jim Spiotto

Afterward, he devoted his retirement to public policy matters and became exceptionally generous with his time and learning. We’ve benefited immensely at Wirepoints from his publications and our conversations with him. Ted Dabrowski and I were scheduled to have another call with Jim on the day it was reported he had passed.

In those years he provided concrete suggestions pro bono to fiscally troubled states and cities. “To raise taxes and reduce services to fund that which is unaffordable only causes corporate and individual taxpayers to leave the state with resulting reduction of tax revenues and the ultimate death spiral of the government,” he wrote in 2014.

In that article, about why Illinois had to change the fiscal direction it was on, he wrote, “The tree that does not bend in the wind is uprooted.”


– Mark Glennon

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7 months ago

Great Spiotto articale from 2/22. https://muninetguide.com/wipe-out-public-debt/

B. Wynters
7 months ago
Reply to  NB-Chicago

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of this fine gentleman. He worked tirelessly to keep us all informed. Peace be with you.

7 months ago

My condolences to Mr. Spiotto and his family. May he rest in Peace!