Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

In Annual Address, Aguirre Calls Tamed Pension Debt a "Fairy Tale"

San Diego's city attorney says he has made progress rooting out corruption since taking office three years ago. But Mike Aguirre's annual address to voters offered a lot of bad news about the state of

San Diego's city attorney says he has made progress rooting out corruption since taking office three years ago. But Mike Aguirre's annual address to voters offered a lot of bad news about the state of city finances. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has details.

Aguirre says the city is still mired in a billion-dollar pension deficit. The city attorney's efforts to roll back what he calls “illegal” pension benefits have been rebuffed by the courts.

Critics, including Mayor Jerry Sanders, say Aguirre's case lacks merit. But Aguirre says he'll keep fighting in the appellate courts.

Advertisement

Aguirre : Quitting would mean a billion-dollar tax burden on taxpayers. It would mean our people take money from their families to pay for benefits that were not paid for or earned.

Aguirre says Wall Street doesn't believe “the fairy tale” that San Diego's pension debt is under control. Going forward, he says San Diego's independent auditor should be elected, not appointed. And that the city attorney must remain fearlessly independent.

Andrew Phelps, KPBS News.

Explore all national, state and local returns now.