By Dale Kasler
Published: Thursday, May. 9, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 7B
CalPERS says the insolvent city of San Bernardino has enough money to pay its past-due bill to the giant pension fund.
A lawyer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System told a bankruptcy judge Tuesday that the city had $26.8 million in cash in January – not $4.2 million as previously claimed. Attorney Michael Lubic’s assertions were reported by Reuters and confirmed Wednesday by a CalPERS spokeswoman.
San Bernardino halted payments to CalPERS and other creditors after filing for bankruptcy protection last August.
The San Bernardino case, along with Stockton’s bankruptcy, are shaping up as a crucial test of CalPERS’ power and the sanctity of public pensions. CalPERS contends that its member cities and counties have no choice but to pay their pension bills in full, even if they have to walk away from other debts.
“CalPERS believes there is sufficient cash to pay CalPERS and (the city’s) other administrative claims,” Lubic said at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Riverside.
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