San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 12/10/13, 8:11 PM PST |

RIVERSIDE >> Progress in mediation, progress on fixing an unexpectedly thorny problem with retirement records, progress on producing financial documentation — all were reported in an unusually conflict-free hearing among the city and its creditors Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“I hope I don’t disappoint or shock anyone, but I have nothing but positive things to report,” said Michael Lubic, attorney for the California Public Employees Retirement System.

The messages from attorneys for the city and police union were largely the same, coming off mediation last month and preparing for eight upcoming days of mediation sprinkled across January and February.

But members of the fire union remain skeptical about mediation and want a hearing on evidence related to the union’s attempt to sue over a cost-sharing contract the city imposed on them.

Brian Goodrich, the attorney representing the fire union, tried Tuesday to set a date for that in case mediation did not proceed smoothly, repeating his argument that the city is delaying for tactical reasons.

The city’s bankruptcy attorney, Paul Glassman, said such a hearing could interfere with mediation that’s been productive so far.

“The city strongly believes that an evidentiary hearing on those matters would be counterproductive at this point because it would undermine the mediation process that needs time to bear fruit,” Glassman said.

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