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Trial Over Pension Lawsuit Delayed Until July

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Trial for a lawsuit that Mayor Bob Filner wants the City of San Diego to drop has been postponed from next month to July, the San Diego City Employees Retirement System announced today.

SDCERS said Judge Joseph Zimmerman scheduled the trial date for July 9 in San Diego Superior Court.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith filed the lawsuit to seek a judicial ruling on the meaning of a clause in the City Charter that says the municipal government and its workers are to make a "substantially equal'' contribution toward their retirement.

Goldsmith contends that the SDCERS interpretation of substantially equal has cost the city tens of millions of dollars annually for years. The pension system's deficit as of last June 30 was estimated at almost $2.3 billion.

Filner and SDCERS Board of Administration President Herb Morgan held a news conference Friday to demand that Goldsmith and the City Council drop the lawsuit.

Filner called it "a loser'' based on comments by judges in previous court hearings. Since the city covers SDCERS legal expenses, San Diego was suing itself -- to the tune of $3.2 million over three years, the mayor said.

Goldsmith said the pension board and labor unions have been lobbying to get the case dropped.

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