Ian Pike 10 a.m., Sept. 14
Aguirre Says State Regulation of Municipal Pension Plans Almost Non-Existent; Calls for Federal Regulation
City Attorney Michael Aguirre, saying that "California regulation of municipal pension plans is as a practical matter non-existent," is now calling for federal regulation of municipal pensions similar to the Employee Retirement Income Act of 1974 (ERISA), which rides herd on private sector pension plans. His latest investigative report notes that San Diego has broken the law repeatedly: failing to operate the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) on a cost neutral basis; failing to charge the full actuarial price for employees who purchase years of benefits for work never performed; allowing union presidents to be in the City pension plan; not amortizing the debt on a 15 year basis, and many other blatant violations. The report points out some of the present and former officials who benefit from unlawful benefits: former mayor Susan Golding voting herself retroactive benefits and underpaying while purchasing service credits; former city attorney Casey Gwinn receiving retroactive benefits while in office and underpaying for service credits, and similar violatrons by former mayor Dick Murphy, former auditor Ed Ryan, and former councilmembers Christine Kehoe, Judy McCarty, and Juan Vargas.