By Mike Dello Stritto

MODESTO (CBS13) – If you look at the list of top 20 creditors that the city of Stockton owes money, at number six you will see The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

How about that for irony?

The watchdog group is owed $31.5 million from a lawsuit against the city, but really Stockton owes that money to the people of Stockton.

A bankruptcy judge could decide to keep Stockton from paying out a dime.

“What’s happening in Stockton is really an insult to taxpayers,” said Jon Coupal of the association.

As you might expect from a taxpayer watchdog group, they’ve been critical of generous pension deals and city compensation packages for quite some time.

“The city of Stockton has engaged in some of the most egregious acts of fiscal mismanagement of any city we’ve seen,” said Coupal. “They’ve made promises they simply cannot keep.”

There are no winners in bankruptcy. Certainly Stockton hopes to lose the least, but the big bucks bankrolled are detailed in the foreclosure filing.

Wells Fargo is waiting on more than a quarter billion dollars for several bonds used for city projects.

The city owes CalPERS nearly $150 million in unfunded pension costs.

CC Meyers, Inc. is owed $18.5 million, just one of several construction companies on the list.

Stockton is in debt to the state close to $11 million for work on the city marina.

And then, yes, there are those taxpayers who should’ve been getting money from that lawsuit.

Instead of pocketing cash, they may have to cough some up.

“So their water rate, and sewer rates may go up at a time they can least afford it,” said Coupal.