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Kroll’s pension deficit report to be released Tuesday

Tomorrow is the big day when a $20 million report into the San Diego City's pension deficit will be presented to the mayor, the city council and the public. KPBS reporter Alison St John reports.

The drama surrounding the Kroll investigation has mounted to a fever pitch. The long awaited report will look back at why the city failed to disclose a massive billion dollar pension deficit.

It'll recommend what the city should do to make sure it doesn't happen again.
City Council President Scott Peters hopes the report will satisfy the independent auditors, KPMG, and allow them to approve the city's languishing 2003 audit. That would open the door to the bond markets again.

Peters: "I'm really hoping that it starts to close the book on a painful chapter in the city's history and gives us a road map for the city to move ahead. If it doesn't do that it would really be a tragedy."

But City attorney Mike Aguirre is angry about the $20 million dollars the consultants charged the city. He says Kroll has taken advantage of the city's financial problems. Aguirre says San Diego could get back into the bond market without the report or the audit, since the Securities and Exchange commission has conducted its own investigation and KPMG has its own legal troubles.

Aguirre: "We have an accounting firm that is the largest tax shelter fraud in American history. Who cares what they have to say, how much credibility do they really have any more?

Mayor Jerry Sanders agrees the city probably could get back into the bond market without the long overdue audit, but says he wants the financial statements as a base line for city finances in the future. He hopes the report will allow the troubled city to move forward. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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