San Bernardino’s City Attorney James Penman had said some pretty inflammatory things at a meeting that ended in the city’s declaring bankruptcy. However, the apparent claim of corruption or malfeasance is now being walked back.
While officials have launched an investigation into the city, it is believed to not be an investigation into mismanaged financial affairs, which Mr. Penman alluded to. Instead, it is thought that they are looking into a case of bid-rigging.
The 13 years of fiscal imbalance is now being blamed on bad accounting practices that were noticed but not reported. That allowed debt to accumulate, deficits to balloon, and reserves to be depleted.
It should be noted that former San Bernardino City Manager Shauna Clark has been staunchly defending her successors in the city against accusations of malfeasance to Editor Dan Oney. Her claims appear to be verified by the latest reports coming out of the beleaguered Southern California city.
From Orange County Register:
San Bernardino officials — from city hall to law enforcement — are distancing themselves from City Attorney James Penman’s statements last week that financial documents had been falsified in at least 13 of the past 16 years, making it appear the city was in rosier condition.
As San Bernardino headed toward bankruptcy, Penman alluded to investigations by the Police Department as well as the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office. But Sheriff Rod Hoops told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the multi-agency investigation was not related to the pending bankruptcy. City officials surmised that the probe centered on alleged bid-rigging by two employees.
Read the full article here.