San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 09/19/14, 4:12 PM PDT | Updated: 23 secs ago

RIVERSIDE >> U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury on Friday slightly dialed back the city’s declaration of victory at its previous hearing here, issuing a scaled-down order that still allows the city to reject its current contract with the firefighters union.

In effect, the order allows the city to fill that void with a new firefighter contract of its choosing. But Jury carefully avoided explicitly saying the city can impose a new contract, because she doesn’t want that to be interpreted as blessing the specifics of what the city will impose. That new contract, she said, must comply with relevant laws, and it’s expected to be challenged in court. Because of that, she struck parts of the city’s proposed order containing that language.

City officials had acknowledged outside the courtroom earlier that the rejection of the contract left them in “limbo.”

And in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, she said firefighters’ attorneys were right that the city had originally asked for more before backing off that request.

“The city is disingenuous when it says it didn’t ask for more,” she said. “Until I got the reply papers on the supplemental request … I certainly had the impression they were asking for me to do more than just reject (the contract).”

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