San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 07/29/14, 8:44 PM PDT | Updated: 57 secs ago

RIVERSIDE >> The fire union didn’t get permission to sue in state court over alleged legal violations related to Fire Department cuts, but its attorneys can make those arguments in bankruptcy court, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury said Tuesday.

The fire union called for relief from the stay that generally prevents outside lawsuits after Fire Chief Paul Drasil delivered layoff notices with an effective date of Aug. 15 for budget reductions including layoffs, demotions and the closure of a fire station, not knowing that the city had committed in court to hold off on that until after further bankruptcy meetings.

San Bernardino’s bankruptcy attorney Paul Glassman reiterated Tuesday that the effective date will be Sept. 23, helping convince Jury that the motion for relief from stay was “premature.”

“I put it (blame) on the city, that they didn’t communicate with the fire chief,” Jury said.

Jury said Tuesday that she might later allow relief from the stay, but she repeated previous comments that she’s “really reluctant” to have another court whose timing she can’t control get involved in the city’s efforts to right its finances and emerge from bankruptcy.

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