Kimberly Blough 6:28 p.m., March 9
SDCERS' Independent Fiduciary Counsel Resigns
Harvey L. Leiderman and his San Francisco-based law firm, ReedSmith, have resigned as independent fiduciary counsel to the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System. "I am not at liberty to disclose the reason we voluntarily resigned," says Leiderman. "It's important that we resigned voluntarily." He and his firm were involved in several controversies. In May, they advised SDCERS that reduced benefits for new City employees negotiated in 2005 would not be effective until February of this year. Thus, these new hires would have the of the old, juicier benefits for almost two years. A second law firm gave exactly the opposite advice, saying the effective date of the reduced benefits would be July 1 of 2005. Mayor Jerry Sanders sided with the ReedSmith pronouncement and blamed City Attorney Michael Aguirre for the benefits being extended. "I can't confirm or deny" whether that was the issue, says Leiderman. Also, he won't comment whether the voluntary resignation had anything to do with the mispricing of purchase of service benefits.