San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 05/17/14, 10:10 PM PDT |

CalPERS has again agreed to push back its appeal of San Bernardino’s bankruptcy eligibility and cancel an August hearing in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying in a joint filing with the city that the delay is “critical to the success of the ongoing mediation.”

The motion, which has been accepted by the court, changes the deadline for the pension giant — and largest creditor in San Bernardino’s bankruptcy case — to file an opening brief arguing the city doesn’t qualify for Chapter  9 protection from Monday to July 21, with the city’s response due by Aug.  20.

Officials for San Bernardino and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System have been working with retired bankruptcy judge Gregg Zive in confidential mediation sessions since November. Initially, most major creditors and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury agreed that working out a deal in private over the massive debt to CalPERS would help other negotiations and the overall bankruptcy case by clarifying how much money remained for remaining creditors, including employees and bondholders.

So when the city, which had contended from the start that an adversarial appeals process would hurt that mediation, first got CalPERS’ acceptance of a delayed schedule in April, it was seen as a sign of progress in mediation and improved relations between the two parties.

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