Judge in Stockton Bankruptcy Calls CalPERS a “Bully”


The federal judge overseeing Stockton’s bankruptcy, Judge Christopher Klein, this week called CalPERS a “bully” with a “glass jaw”.

The comments came as Klein put his Stockton ruling in writing for the first time.

More from Reuters:

The judge overseeing the city of Stockton’s bankruptcy case in California described the country’s largest pension fund as a “bully” yielding an “iron fist,” in a written ruling that reiterated his oral confirmation of the city’s plan to exit Chapter 9.

U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein’s ruling again staked out ground for bankrupt municipalities to alter their workers’ pensions, a contract that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System had ferociously argued could not be touched. Stockton, however, elected to leave its pensions intact.

“CalPERS has bullied its way about in this case with an iron fist insisting that it and the municipal pensions it services are inviolable. The bully may have an iron fist, but it also turns out to have a glass jaw,” wrote Klein, who orally confirmed the city’s plan to exit Chapter 9 protections in October.


Calpers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Stockton filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The city could have altered pensions as part of its bankruptcy plan, but opted against it.


Photo by Joe Gratz via Flickr CC License

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