Jeff Smith 2:30 p.m., March 13
Pssst! Howd'ya Like to Retire with $300,000 a Year of Taxpayer Moolah
The retirement packages of City of San Diego employees are even more outrageous than earlier reported. When you add in the quintessential double-dipping caper called Deferred Option Plan (DROP), plus other emoluments, Eugene Gordon, a former assistant city attorney, is being paid a whopping $299,103 a year in retirement, according to former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who requested and finally received the numbers from City officials. Doug McCalla, who formerly ran the City's investment portfolio, is raking in $247,312 a year in his retirement.
Aguirre believes that a special prosecutor, similar to one used in the City of Bell, should be named to investigate the San Diego pension scandal -- particularly the fact that elected officials pay very little into the system and walk away with fat retirements while still in their 40s. (In the accompanying list, check former City Attorney Casey Gwinn's retirement pay, along with the pay of former Councilmember Jim Madaffer. Both retired in their 40s.) Aguirre believes that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis should not be considered for the investigation, since she has not been willing to pursue other obvious cases of wrongdoing that she has been handed. "Any pension debt created without a vote of the people is illegal," says Aguirre. This thesis would be the basis of an investigation.
In a letter to Mayor Jerry Sanders, Aguirre suggested that the California State Controller conduct an independent audit of the City's financial relationship with its pension system. The letter notes that Sanders promised to voters that he would not take his pension while receiving his full mayoral salary, but he is now doing so.
Attached is a list of what former City employees are getting in their retirements.