San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre sued eight pension officials in San Diego Superior Court for actions he claims resulted in the $1.7 billion unfunded liability of the $3.2 billion San Diego City Employees' Retirement System, confirmed Maria Velasquez, spokeswoman for the San Diego City Attorney's office. The suit claims they violated their fiduciary responsibilities and, in some cases, engaged in felony conflict of interest by repeatedly allowing the City of San Diego to underpay its contribution to the pension plan.
The officials are: Lawrence Grissom, administrator of the fund; Ronald L. Saathoff, trustee representing the firefighters on the plan board; Sharon Wilkinson, San Diego City management analyst; Terri Webster, former assistant city auditor; Cathy Lexin, former city human resources director and former trustee; John Torres, current board member; Bruce Herring, deputy city manager and former trustee; and Loraine Chapin, general counsel.
Separately, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis filed felony conflict-of-interest charges in San Diego Superior Court against Mr. Saathoff, Ms. Wilkinson, Ms. Webster, Ms. Lexin and Mr. Torres, along with Mary Vattimo, former city treasurer, for some of their 2002 votes while on the pension board.
Paul Barnett, the city system's assistant administrator, could not immediately be reached for comment.