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Controversial decision gets delayed by SD City Council

The San Diego city council has put off, yet again, a controversial decision on whether to pay the legal bills for former elected officials fighting conflict of interest charges. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The same conflict of interest issue that has landed several pension board members in court is now plaguing city council members.

The council hesitated over whether to use public money to defend former elected officials who approved their own pension benefit increases in the 1990s.

City Attorney Mike Aguirre alleges the current council members would violate conflict of interest laws if they vote in the issue.

Aguirre: "What they're doing is they're voting on something they have a financial interest in, which is the issue of whether to roll back the benefits, so they're basically giving money to someone to defend their interest, their financial interest."

An attorney representing former city councilwoman Judy McCarty told the council salaries and benefits are exempt from state conflict of interest laws, and warned them delay jeopardizes the case. But council members decided they need another two weeks to tease out the legal intricacies. Alison St John, KPBS news.

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