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SD City Attorney Says DROP Not Valid

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Aired 6/2/09

San Diego’s City Attorney says the ordinance that created a controversial retirement benefit program for city employees should have never been implemented in the first place.

— San Diego’s City Attorney says the ordinance that created a controversial retirement benefit program for city employees should have never been implemented in the first place.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith says the 1997 ordinance required two conditions be met before the Deferred Retirement Option Program was valid. A majority of city workers who were part of the retirement system had to vote to approve the measure and then the system administrator had to approve the vote. Goldsmith says neither condition was met so the city’s free to modify the program.

“The ordinance that created DROP never took effect by its own terms or by the Charter. The legal effect of that is that we do not have to, in our opinion, obtain a vote of the members in order to modify it or eliminate it,” he says.

Goldsmith says he’s not on a crusade against the program and won’t be seeking repayment from people who’ve taken part in DROP for the past 12 years. The San Diego Police Officers Association has filed an injunction against the city seeking to prevent changes to DROP without a vote.

Katie Orr, KPBS News

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