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S.D. Pension Trial Enters New Phase Next Year

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

The city of San Diego’s pension trial will enter a new phase next year. There is even more at stake than the $900 million in pension benefits that city attorney Mike Aguirre is trying to roll back. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The city’s pension board is waiting in the wings for the next phase of the trial to begin.

When it does, pension attorneys will sue the city for $240 million, to make up the money the city should have paid into the pension fund since 1996. 

San Diego is already struggling to pay down its billion dollar pension deficit. Pension system litigation attorney Mike Leone says the new suit seeks to increase those payments.

Leone: I understand that money out of their pocket in the short term could be a problematic thing, but the retirement system interests are to assure long term appropriate funding and that’s what the law suit seeks.

Leone says he had hoped to launch his suit against the city later this month. But Judge Barton says he won’t consider it until the first phase of the pension trial is resolved.

So far, Barton has rejected most of city attorney Mike Aguirre’s case seeking to roll back benefits.  Aguirre hopes to change the judge’s mind at another hearing next week. Alison St John, KPBS news.

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