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Judge Approves Stockton Bankruptcy Plan

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A judge has granted final approval of the City of Stockton's two-billion-dollar bankruptcy recovery plan.

Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva applauded the decision.

"I don't think this is a time to pat ourselves on the back just yet. I think it's important not to forget the sacrifices that so many made, such as retirees, the employees, and the residents of Stockton."

As part of the plan, voters approved a sales tax increase last November and retirees gave up $545 million in healthcare benefits.  

The objections of one creditor -Franklin Templeton- threatened to make those cuts even worse. The company wanted more money under the deal, claiming the pensioners were being treated more favorably.

But Judge Christopher Klein ruled today those objections were insufficient to void a plan approved by the city's other creditors.

Anthony Delgado is retired from the Stockton Police Department. He says he's glad the judge approved no further cuts to benefits, but...

"I would equate it to the bridge crew of the Titanic celebrating getting 700 people off the ship. It sank. People lost their lives. In this setting, people lost their jobs, they lost their benefits and my life has been on hold the last two-and-a-half years waiting for this result to come."

An investigation in 2012 uncovered years of accounting gimmicks and unfunded liabilities approved by previous city councils that a former city manager equated to a ponzi scheme.

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