San Bernardino’s city council voted to enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy last night, making it the third California city to do so in as many weeks, the AP reports. With a population of about 210,000, it’ll be the second-largest US city to go bankrupt. Part of the reason things got so dire? The council was given falsified budget documents in 13 of the last 16 years, the city attorney said last night.
The fake budgets indicated that San Bernardino had a surplus, when in reality it was running on a deficit, the San Bernardino County Sun reports. Once new councilman said he still didn’t trust the information presented, and refused to vote. “The taxpayers of this city have been duped, hoodwinked, and misguided for the past several years,” he said. The motion passed with four voting in favor, two against, and two abstaining. “This is probably the hardest decision this councilwoman will ever have to make,” one councilwoman said.