San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy today announced he will resign, effective July 15. Mr. Murphy issued a statement saying he is stepping down because the city needs a fresh start and a mayor "elected by a solid majority of the voters and with a clear mandate." He will stay on until July 15 to give the city council time to either set a special election or appoint a new mayor, said Colleen Windsor, spokeswoman.
Mr. Murphy's announcement comes two weeks after City Attorney Michael Aguirre released the third in a series of reports on the $3.6 billion San Diego City Employees Retirement System's $1.37 billion unfunded liability. The report alleges that the city council and the pension board violated state law, the state constitution, the San Diego city charter and the city municipal code by using plan earnings for other financial obligations since 1980, and agreeing to allow the city to make less than its required actuarial contribution in 1996 and 2002.
Mr. Murphy's decision to resign is not related to the city's pension problems, Ms. Windsor said. "His decision had nothing to do with the pension problems and the city attorney's charges. That is the furthest thing from the truth," she said.