Matthew Lickona 11:49 p.m., Dec. 10
Aguirre Sums Up Criminal Activity That Led to Pension Deficit
British author W. Somerset Maugham penned "The Summing Up" late in his career. Ditto for Mike Aguirre, who will shortly leave the city attorney's office after having lost re-election in a landslide financed by the establishment along with organized labor. Aguirre's Interim Report No. 35 tells which city officials, past and present, were responsible for the huge pension deficit that could ultimately break the City. The report shows how in 1996, 2000 and 2002, officials created pension benefits without a funding source, in defiance of state and local laws. Each year, the officials had a personal interest in the illegally-created benefits -- again, in defiance of laws. A federal grand jury, Securities and Exchange Commission and district attorney's office have brought shallow charges, but it appears that they may not go far. The officials raked in retroactive benefits and purchased service credits for a low, actuarially unsound rate. Among many eye-opening facts: former deputy city manager Bruce Herring retired in late 2005 with an annual pension of $174,381, including retroactive benefits. A full $70,044 of his annual pension violates Internal Revenue Service rules, according to the report. The annual pension of former city attorney Casey Gwinn violates IRS rules by $46,812 a year.