Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/24/2012 12:00:00 AM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Today is the deadline for any of the city’s thousands of creditors to file papers arguing the city is not eligible for bankruptcy protection, a battle that added months and millions of dollars to the bankruptcy proceedings in Vallejo and is expected to do the same in Stockton.

City officials – and the judge handling the case, Meredith Jury – have said they expect objections.

But San Bernardino has convinced some of its most skeptical employee groups that the city is eligible for bankruptcy – and therefore eligible to avoid paying some of its debts to those groups.

“We’ve been able to negotiate an agreement with the firefighter union not to file an objection,” said City Attorney James F. Penman. “We’ve given them information that I think shows pretty clearly the financial situation we’re in.”

The union’s review of the documents and earlier actions by city administrators didn’t settle all the San Bernardino City Professional Firefighters’ questions, according Corey Glave, their attorney.

“Nevertheless, the SBCPF does not believe it is in either the citizens’ or the firefighters’ best interest to tie up the city with years of bankruptcy litigation,” Glave said. “It is clear that the city can better use this time and financial resources to right the ship and get their financial matters back in order.”

The police union won’t object, either, their attorney said.

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