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Pension Benefits Back in Court


Aired 4/19/09

San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s attempt to roll back pension benefits is back in court today. A Superior Court Judge is expected to rule on whether the amount at stake is around $40 million or hundreds of millions of dollars.  KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Labor attorneys and Council President Scott Peters argue the city attorney’s suit to roll back pension benefits granted in 1996 and 2002 could only yield $40 million at the most. They say a settlement in 2000 protects benefits before then. Aguirre’s estimate is over $500 million. He wants to take his suit to trial anyway.

Aguirre:  First of all $40 million is not a small amount of money to begin with and number two, that’s just Peters trying to minimize his wrongdoing.

Council President Peters was one of those who voted for the benefit increases, at the same time as continuing to under fund the pension fund. Peters says the city needs an answer one way or another on how much is at stake. 

Peters: You know, we hope the judge makes a decision, he’s been remarkably indecisive so far, we certainly hope that Thursday he’ll give us a clue of where the city is headed. The matter may go to trial next month.

Alison St John, KPBS News.  

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