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Keyword: sandiegopension

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  • CA: Double-dipping - DROP pads city pensions to absurd levels (San Diego)

    02/11/2007 5:43:58 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 25 replies · 1,090+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 2/11/07 | Editorial
    If you ever doubted that the pension benefits of San Diego municipal workers were excessive, consider these simple numbers: A typical firefighter making $75,000 a year can retire at age 55 with a pension of $99,767 – or 133 percent of his highest-year salary. That's right, a worker earning $75,000 can retire with a pension just shy of a hundred grand, along with annual cost-of-living increases, for the rest of his life. The same lavish deal is provided to nonpublic-safety employees, with the only difference being that the worker would have to stay on the job until the advanced age...
  • S.D. debt is worse than first thought

    10/03/2006 11:22:49 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 8 replies · 613+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 10/3/06 | Matthew T. Hall
    San Diego's financial hole is much deeper than previously suggested. A retiree health care liability has grown from $978 million to $1.38 billion, and the city's share of the pension deficit has increased from $1.39 billion to $1.76 billion. The roughly $770 million increase is found in an unaudited report on San Diego's 2003 fiscal status that Mayor Jerry Sanders released yesterday to replace a discredited 2002 audit that was the city's most recent annual fiscal report. What kicked the new report loose was a consultant recommendation that the City Council share responsibility with the mayor for approving the accuracy...
  • Sanders' borrowing plan seen as risky - Mayor wants to sell bonds to bolster pension (San Diego)

    04/30/2006 4:35:40 PM PDT · by calcowgirl · 14 replies · 486+ views
    San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | April 30, 2006 | Matthew T. Hall
    It's a gamble that governments big and small have taken with mixed results for two decades: borrow money at low interest rates and pump the cash into sagging pension systems whose savvy managers count on high investment returns. Now it's the centerpiece of Mayor Jerry Sanders' fiscal fix for San Diego. While Sanders insists his proposal is prudent, experts nationwide warn that the approach has high risks – even before factoring in a trend toward higher interest rates and a decline in presumed returns for pension system investments. Some experts say the borrow-to-invest strategy still makes sense, but others say...
  • CA: 5 defendants likely being pulled from pension case - San Diego

    03/25/2006 2:51:40 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 1 replies · 225+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 3/25/06 | Greg Gross and Steve Schmidt
    A judge said this week he is likely to drop five of eight former city and pension officials from a lawsuit San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre filed in an effort to roll back pension benefits he contends the retirement board illegally approved. Superior Court Judge Steven R. Denton issued a tentative ruling Thursday removing the five officials from a lawsuit Aguirre filed in July. The lawsuit accuses the eight officials of violating the state's Political Reform Act and contends they had conflicts of interest that should invalidate their role in crafting or approving pension benefit increases in 1996 and...
  • Sources: SEC Gives Shot over Bow [in securities fraud investigation of San Diego city government ]

    02/18/2006 12:10:58 PM PST · by John Jorsett · 3 replies · 247+ views
    Voice of San Diego ^ | Feb 13, 2006 | EVAN McLAUGHLIN
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has given targets of its investigation into the city of San Diego their last chance to avoid enforcement actions by the agency, a sign that the SEC's two-year-long case probing City Hall's financial dealings has advanced, multiple sources close to the investigation said last week. Sources said that within the last one or two weeks, the SEC has given people of interest in its investigation a "Wells call." Such communication is an informal invitation to potential defendants that allows them one last chance to submit information that may put an end to suspicions that they...
  • CA: Current, former pension officials plead not guilty to federal charges -San Diego Pension Scandal

    02/01/2006 6:28:09 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 3 replies · 240+ views
    SAN DIEGO – Three former pension trustees, an ex-pension administrator and the system's attorney pleaded innocent Wednesday to federal charges that they concealed details on the pension fund from other trustees. Indictments were returned Jan. 6 against Ronald Saathoff, president of the San Diego City Firefighters union; Cathy Lexin, the city's former director of human resources; Terri Webster, the city's former acting auditor; former pension administrator Lawrence Grissom; and current pension general counsel Loraine Chapin. Each faces one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud and 15 counts of mail fraud. Some of...
  • CA: Pension report finds laws were violated (San Diego Pension Crisis)

    01/21/2006 7:17:09 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 3 replies · 436+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 1/21/06 | Jennifer Vigil
    Pension system administrators and board members engaged in a cozy relationship with San Diego city officials that paved the way for agreements to underfund the retirement system, moves that contributed to a deficit of at least $1.4 billion. The deals, in 1996 and 2002, violated state and federal laws as well as the state constitution's ban on "political interference" with a pension fund's administration and funding, independent investigators concluded in a report released yesterday by the city's retirement board. Pension officials had a duty to safeguard retiree benefits and investments, but their decisions, which allowed the city to withhold funds...
  • CA: Pension scheme did not make sense, report finds (San Diego Pension Crisis)

    01/20/2006 5:37:43 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies · 337+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 1/20/06 | Karen Kucher
    SAN DIEGO – A report released by the San Diego pension system board Friday details how the city racked up a pension deficit estimated at $2 billion, saying the system's underfunding plan did not make sense. The 240-page report, prepared by the forensic accounting firm Navigant Consulting of Chicago, outlined the now-familiar decisions made by the city and the pension board that led to underfunding of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System and the current fiscal crisis that grips the city. The consultants found that city underfunding schemes approved in 1996 and 2002 "did not make economic or actuarial...
  • Judge sends six to trial in city pension scandal - San Diego

    01/13/2006 9:35:58 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 2 replies · 237+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 1/13/06 | Greg Moran
    SAN DIEGO – A Superior Court judge ruled Friday morning that there is sufficient evidence to try six former city pension board members on a single felony conflict-of-interest charge stemming from the massive underfunding of the city retirement system. Judge Frederic Link dismissed two of the felony conflict-of-interest charges, ruling that they overlapped the main charge against the defendants. But the six still would face up to three years in prison if convicted of the single charge. The defendants – Cathy Lexin, former city human resources director; John Torres, a Police Department fingerprint examiner; Ronald Saathoff, a fire captain and...
  • [San Diego Mayor] Sanders to Pension Board: Get Out [Board that brought city to brink of insolvency]

    01/12/2006 1:01:11 PM PST · by John Jorsett · 5 replies · 360+ views
    Voice of San Diego ^ | Jan 12, 2006 | ANDREW DONOHUE and EVAN McLAUGHLIN
    In one of the first displays of his mandated might, new Mayor Jerry Sanders on Wednesday asked all City Council-appointed trustees of the city's troubled pension system to step down. The move has long been a goal of Sanders' new ally in reform, City Attorney Mike Aguirre, and would shake-up the administration of a system that sits at the heart of the city's legal and financial problems. If successful, the mayor would purge the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System of the appointees of former Mayor Dick Murphy and the current City Council and pave the way for Sanders and...
  • CA: Pension case legal bills being kept under wraps - San Diego Pension Crisis

    01/11/2006 6:43:04 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 257+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 1/11/06 | Craig Gustafson and Jennifer Vigil
    Private attorneys for former Mayor Dick Murphy and four City Council members have adamantly opposed releasing their legal bills from the ongoing pension investigation and have threatened to take the city to court to keep the information from getting out. So far, the lawyers have charged more than $1.5 million, but no details from the invoices have been disclosed. Documents released last night to The San Diego Union-Tribune show the extent to which the politicians' attorneys are fighting to keep the billings secret. The request for the billings, made by the Union-Tribune under the state Public Records Act, has led...
  • San Diego Officials: Corruption Part of City's History, Not Present [Bridge for Sale]

    01/07/2006 1:27:45 PM PST · by John Jorsett · 6 replies · 280+ views
    Voice of San Diego ^ | Jan 7, 2006 | EVAN McLAUGHLIN
    For nearly two years uncertainty has plagued City Hall as federal investigators have poured through the city's files, searching crimes connected to the financial crisis that threatens San Diego city government for years to come. On Friday, the first fruits of the high-profile probe finally surfaced when federal prosecutors filed corruption charges against five former pension officials. In the wake of the charges, city officials had varying opinions about what the charges mean for the city, as its tries to navigate its way out of a dark era and into fiscal and political stability. Some said the indictments of two...
  • CA: Pension indictments - Are more coming, who will foot legal bills? (San Diego Pension Crisis)

    01/07/2006 10:29:24 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 3 replies · 286+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 1/7/06 | Editorial
    The sweeping indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury exposes an alleged conspiracy by five San Diego officials to boost their own retirement benefits while fraudulently manipulating the pension board to approve a massive underfunding of the pension plan. But the 20 counts handed down against the current or former retirement system officials are not likely to mark the end of the federal criminal probe. The indictment focuses on efforts by the five officials to conceal from the pension board of trustees material information about increased retirement benefits adopted by the City Council in exchange for the trustees' approval...
  • Feds indict 5 in pension case (San Diego pension system)

    01/07/2006 6:20:17 AM PST · by radar101 · 4 replies · 247+ views
    San Diego Union ^ | Jan.7, 2005 | Kelly Thornton
    A federal grand jury indicted the former top executive of the San Diego pension system, its lawyer and three former trustees on conspiracy and fraud charges yesterday in the opening salvo in the federal government's latest corruption probe at City Hall. Law enforcement sources said the indictments are the first part of a far-reaching criminal investigation that could stretch into the highest levels of a city government already reeling from multiple scandals. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shane Harrigan, who announced yesterday's indictments, said the actions of the defendants not only jeopardized the pension fund, but "the financial stability of the city...
  • San Diego: Indictments handed down in pension fund case

    01/06/2006 2:28:05 PM PST · by John Jorsett · 13 replies · 409+ views
    A 20 count indictment against was leveled by a federal grand jury against former SDCERS trustees Ron Saathoff, Cathy Lexin, Theresa Webster, Lawrence Grissom and current General Counsel Lorranie Chapin. They were charged with wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and aiding and abetting.
  • CA: (San Diego) 5 current and former pension figures indicted

    01/06/2006 1:34:40 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 29 replies · 908+ views
    SAN DIEGO – A federal grand jury returned an indictment in the pension fund case Friday afternoon. Its details are to be announced at 2 p.m. The jury's foreman and federal prosecutor John Owens stood before U.S. District Judge Irma Gonzalez shortly before 1 p.m. to notify the judge and get her signature on the document. Nothing was revealed about its contents, and Owens declined to discuss it outside of court, but the U.S. Attorney's office has scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. at its downtown offices.
  • San Diego's burden - City pays 80% of general fund to employees

    12/16/2005 9:02:42 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 20 replies · 1,104+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 12/16/05 | Editorial
    If you are among those who cling to the politically fashionable view that San Diego's financial troubles are due to the simple fact that our taxes are too low, think again. A special watchdog report by Union-Tribune staff writer Steve Schmidt and research analyst Danielle Cervantes documents a very different explanation – one that the city's powerful public employee unions don't want told. The real truth is, for years San Diego has been run more for the benefit of its unionized work force than for the benefit of taxpayers. Consider these fundamental facts: In Los Angeles, a city with a...
  • CA: Retirement chief refuses to testify (San Diego)

    12/07/2005 10:13:34 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 3 replies · 293+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 12/7/05 | Greg Moran
    Lawrence Grissom, the administrator of San Diego's retirement system, refused to testify yesterday, invoking his right against self-incrimination and becoming the latest high-ranking official connected with the city pension scandal to not answer questions in court. Prosecutor Steve Robinson asked one question – "Were you the retirement administrator for SDCERS in 2002?" – when Grissom's lawyer, Brian Hennigan, announced his client would assert his Fifth Amendment rights. He left a few minutes later, but not before defense attorneys for six former pension board members facing criminal conflict-of-interest charges tried to persuade Superior Court Judge Frederic L. Link to grant Grissom...
  • CA: Work on pension fund mess hits snag - Consultants say they need until mid-March

    10/26/2005 9:45:17 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 179+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 10/26/05 | Jennifer Vigil and Ronald W. Powell
    Consultants trying to unravel the issues surrounding San Diego's tangled finances told city officials yesterday that their work will take until at least mid-March to complete, three months later than their recent estimate. The development adds to the uncertainty the city faces over its fiscal condition and is likely to further delay the release of long-overdue financial statements that are needed for San Diego to re-enter the municipal bond market. KPMG, the accounting firm conducting the 2003 audit, has predicted that it will take at least a month to issue the statements after Kroll Inc., the firm handling the investigation,...
  • CA: Faster finish urged for report - Finished audit needed to resume borrowing (San Diego)

    10/22/2005 10:54:20 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies · 320+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 10/22/05 | Jennifer Vigil
    Trustees of San Diego's embattled retirement system yesterday urged consultants they hired two months ago to get their report out first on how the pension fund came to be saddled with a deficit of at least $1.4 billion. Navigant Consulting, a Chicago-based company that advises public agencies, is at least the fifth firm examining decisions made in 2002 to underfund the system while also increasing employee benefits. The teams of consultants appear to be competing in a race to see "who will be last" to finish their work, said pension board President Peter Preovolos. He added that one of the...