LOS ANGELES -- The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has filed another motion opposing San Bernardino’s eligibility for bankruptcy and asking a hearing to decide the matter be postponed.
Friday’s motion comes just days before the hearing scheduled for Friday, Dec. 21 by U.S Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury in the court’s Riverside, Calif. division.
CalPERS attorneys claim in the filing that the city has failed to provide the appropriate supporting documentation and the hearing should be postponed.
“Based on conversations that CalPERS’ consultants have had with the city, it is CalPERS’ understanding that the City intends to produce this supporting information sometime on or about December 21—the very day that the continued status conference on eligibility is scheduled,” CalPERS attorneys argue in court documents. “Thus, CalPERS will have no opportunity to review the supporting information to determine the viability and legitimacy of the Pendency Plan.”
Attorneys for the pension fund asked the judge to delay Friday’s status hearing and instead schedule an evidentiary hearing.
The additional time would also enable the city to adopt a “real” pendency plan to solve its financial difficulties, CalPERS attorneys said in court documents.
The pension fund also claimed that the city has filed the bankruptcy case “primarily for the purpose of delay” because, according to CalPERS attorneys, nothing filed in the case demonstrates a plan by the city to produce a legitimate plan of adjustment.
San Bernardino has failed to pay twice-monthly pension fund payments since filing bankruptcy on Aug. 1 and now owes the pension fund $7 million.
CalPERS claims the city must pay “post-petition” debts, or those accrued after it filed for bankruptcy.
“San Bernardino’s plan assumes that the city can stay in bankruptcy without paying its post-petition obligations and complying with applicable laws, including laws pertaining to the payment of employee benefits,” Robert Glazier, CalPERS’ deputy executive officer for external affairs, said in a statement.
CalPERS argued in its filing that a debtor may suspend prepetition debts, but must remain current on post-petition debts. Failure to pay the post-petition debts is grounds for dismissal of the bankruptcy case, the pension fund argued.