San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 06/28/14, 11:04 PM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> The fire union continues to accuse the city of keeping $75 million “hidden in misleading or unmarked investment accounts” despite city officials’ position that the money was openly posted and legally can’t be used to prevent cuts to public services like the Fire Department.

Fire union attorney Corey Glave first reported he had “discovered” monthly portfolio summaries with the information — which weren’t disclosed prior to April, he said — in a filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court on June 17.

Since June 2012, two months before the city’s filed for bankruptcy, $53 million was invested, which, with interest, had become $76 million, the filing said.

Other than a statement that investments continued during 2014, “a fiscal year that the City claims it is operating a deficit with a projected $22,000,000 deficit for the next fiscal year,” the filing left it at that.

And at a hearing the next day, the city’s financial adviser said the numbers appeared correct — but that they were included in previous meeting agendas and reports to creditors, and that the “vast majority” of the funds were restricted. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury said she understood, and nothing more was said on the subject in court.

Not so in the court of public opinion.

Firefighters and residents have left dozens of comments on multiple social media pages.

Mayor Carey Davis and City Attorney Gary Saenz responded with a news release scolding union leaders for “attempting to confuse and mislead residents.” The city’s finance director responded with details and an oral report to the City Council. And Glave stood his ground in a news release.

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