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Six former pensions trustees to stand trial

A state Superior Court Judge has ruled there is sufficient evidence to take six former San Diego pension board members to trial on conflict of interest charges. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The tentative ruling means the former pension board members will go on trial in November. The accused are Ron Saatoff, Cathy Lexin, John Torres, Terry Webster, Mary Vattimo and Sharon Wilkinson.

The six are accused by the District Attorney of conflict of interest, because they allegedly allowed the city to underfund the pension plan in return for pension increases they benefited from personally.

Their attorneys tried to appeal a decision by Judge Frederick Link, who ruled the case should go ahead, but their appeal was rejected.

The judge wrote that it didn't matter what the defendants decided in the case. He says the very fact that they considered lowering the so- called trigger clause in the employer's contract, when they had a personal financial interest, is enough evidence to warrant a trial.

The case is at the heart of who is to blame for a massive increase in the city's pension deficit, which now stands at well over $1.4 billion. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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