RIVERSIDE, Calif., June 5 (Reuters) - The federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy of the city of San Bernardino, California, moved on Wednesday to end disputes over the disclosure of financial information and begin resolving the initial issues in the case by late summer.
Judge Meredith Jury appeared to lose patience with demands by Calpers, the giant state pension fund and the city’ biggest creditor, that the city produce more financial information, an issue that has dogged the case for months.
Jury told Michael Lubic, Calpers’ attorney: “Right now, you’ve got us in limbo - us being this process, not me, the city, everyone here.”
The judge set two key hearing dates - July 17 and Aug. 28 - which she hopes will force the parties to narrow disputes.
She also invited the city to apply for a quick judgment on the disputed issues in the Aug. 28 hearing, and could potentially rule at that time on the whether San Bernardino, 60 miles (100 km) west of Los Angeles, is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.
San Bernardino and Stockton, another California city in bankruptcy, are considered test cases in the battle over whether municipal bondholders or current and retired employees will absorb most of the pain when a state or local government goes broke.
Stockton’s case has proceeded much more swiftly and the city was found eligible for bankruptcy by a judge in April.