Thirteen years of fraud pushes San Bernardino into bankruptcy

Shades of the financial shenanigans of Greece:

On Tuesday night, July 10, San Bernardino City Attorney James Penman told the City Council that budget officials had presented falsified documents for 13 of the past 16 years, masking the city’s deficit.

San Bernardino is facing a budget shortfall of about $45 million and annual deficits over the next five years. That’s even after the city slashed the workforce by 20 percent over the past four years and negotiated $10 million in annual concessions from employees in each of the past three years.

That prompted elected officials in the city of 210,000 people to make the sudden move of authorizing the city attorney to seek federal bankruptcy protection, becoming the third California city poised to do so in less than two weeks.

Adapted from With bills unpaid, accounts approaching empty, California’s San Bernardino chooses bankruptcy |

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