San Bernardino, Calif. and its new city manager have something in common: they both have personal experience with bankruptcy.
Allen Parker, whom the cash-strapped city hired to lead its recovery, has filed for personal bankruptcy not once, but twice —first in 1991, and again in 2011, according to Reuters.
Parker told The Press-Enterprise ”his bankruptcy and his ability to handle the city’s fiscal problems were ‘apples and oranges.’”
The city council knew about Parker’s bankruptcy filings, which are public court documents, before they voted unanimously on Tuesday to appoint him.
San Bernardino’s new city manager was also kicked off a local water company’s board in 2010 after being sued by shareholders, according to Reuters.
Despite being aware of Parker’s history, Mayor Pat Morris lauded Parker’s “‘wealth of city management experience’ and expressed ‘great confidence’ in his ability to oversee the city’s affairs,” Reuters said.
Parker has been a local manager in several other California cities, according to Reuters, including East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay, Seal Beach and Compton, which was also teetering on the edge of bankruptcy last year.
“Bankruptcy is something we don’t take lightly, because we’re in it, and a lot of time was spent” investigating Parker’s situation, San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman told The Press-Enterprise.