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Cerritos Mayor Barrows: ‘The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt’

 

 “The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt,” Barrows said in an interview Thursday to the Long Beach Register.

“The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt,” Barrows said in an interview Thursday to the Long Beach Register.

By Brian Hews and Brian Hews

In a stunning omission, Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows told a daily newspaper in an interview on Thursday that the once fiscally successful municipality could be heading toward bankruptcy after a stunning ruling by the California State Controller’s Office was handed down this past Monday.

“The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt,” Barrows said in an interview Thursday.

Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper was the first media outlet in California to obtain the Asset Transfer Report and break the details of the staggering ruling handed down by State Controller John Chiang on Monday.

The Controller’s office told HMG-CN that they have “the legal right to demand that Cerritos put all properties back into redevelopment agency and that no further litigation by the city can brought under state law.”

Barrows and Cerritos officials said in a statement on Friday that “The City of Cerritos strongly disagrees with the findings of the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency Asset Transfer Review Report issued by the State Controller’s Office and will be pursuing litigation to protect the community’s assets.”

Sources told HMG-CN that the Cerritos City Council voted to approve further litigation on the matter two weeks ago.

English: An official image of California State...

State Controller John Chiang

Jason Roper a spokesperson with the Controller’s office in Sacramento said that he was “unaware” of the press statement issued by Cerritos officials on Friday. HMG-CN forwarded a copy of the press release and is awaiting an official response from Roper and the Controller’s office.

Barrows also said in a prepared statement: “The City paid the Redevelopment Agency consideration for the transfers and the transfers were legal and permissible under state law at the time they were made. The State Controller’s Office went beyond its authority to demand that the assets that were transferred for consideration be returned to the Successor Agency for disposition. The state has arbitrarily decided the money doesn’t belong to the City and has rolled back years of redevelopment.”

Cerritos officials said that “the assets in dispute include a freeway slope easement adjacent to the 91 Freeway, Reservoir Hill Park and water reservoir, the Cerritos Center for the Cerritos Performing Arts, the former Mullikin medical building on 183rd Street, the former Regional Occupational Program building on Studebaker Road, an easement adjacent to B&B Stables, a parking lot on Gridley Road, the Liberty Park Community Center Annex, Fire Station #30 on Pioneer Boulevard and the C-5 water well.”

 

Note: Due to the magnitude of this situation, HMG-CN will be providing LIVE updates as they develop.

 

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