CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

The San Bernardino City Council voted last night to begin proceedings for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which would free the city of much of its debt but maintain the mayor and council as decision-makers. Without filing for bankruptcy, the city — which has a deficit of $45 million — would likely be unable to meet its August 15 payroll. City Attorney James Penman said that for 13 of the last 16 years, the council had been given falsified budget documents. Those documents said the city was in the black when, in fact, it had been deficit spending, he said. That period covers the tenure of multiple city managers and sets of elected officials, but it predates Acting City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller and Finance Director Jason Simpson, whom he said discovered the discrepancy. San Bernardino would be the third California city to file for bankruptcy this year, following Stockton and Mammoth Lakes. In 2008, Vallejo filed for bankruptcy.

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