San Bernardino Seal

Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/08/2013 06:54:00 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO — It’s time to decide once and for all whether the city is bankrupt, officials say in court documents filed late Friday, seeking to end what city officials see as months of expensive side discussions.

The motion for summary judgment requests that Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury decide on Aug. 28 that the city is eligible for bankruptcy protection, rejecting objections by the California Public Employee Retirement System and the middle managers represented by the San Bernardino Public Employees Association.

“We’re spending millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees fighting their motions, they’re spending millions of dollars in their retirees’ money fighting these motions, we have three unions spending their members’ money because of these motions,” said City Attorney James F. Penman, referring to months of discussions about what evidence the city must produce to prove its eligibility. “But the fact is, we don’t believe there are any issues in dispute any longer.”

Furthermore, he said, Jury has said at least twice that she doesn’t think anyone in the courtroom doubts the city’s insolvency, and CalPERS attorneys in the courtroom did not respond to those statements.

Under California bankruptcy law, insolvency is one of five requirements to be eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, with several of those — that the city is a municipality, for example — being completely uncontested.

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