SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to take away the right of the San Diego City Employees Retirement System Board of Directors to settle lawsuits on its own.
The decision -- which must come back for a second reading before being finalized -- stemmed from the pension board's $700,000 settlement of litigation brought by the former president of the Municipal Employees Association -- which represents city white-collar workers. The deal with ex-MEA boss Judie Italiano was the board's only settlement of a lawsuit in the last four years, according to SDCERS.
"(The settlement) offended me, and this City Council had no opportunity to be briefed, to weigh in, to examine the options and decide if this large settlement was in the best interest of the taxpayers," Councilman Carl DeMaio said.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said he was previously unaware that the SDCERS board claimed the power to settle cases without consulting the City Council as part of a 2008 trust agreement that allowed the agency to co-mingle funds of its three branches -- the city of San Diego, the Port of San Diego and San Diego County Regional Airport Authority -- for investment purposes.
The agreement was finalized before he took office.
"No other part of the city has blanket authority to settle lawsuits," Goldsmith said.
He said SDCERS is just one of several city agencies that operate on a quasi-independent basis, and none of the others have such power.
The City Charter and California Constitution grants SDCERS independence from the city in managing investments and benefits, but not litigation, which could involve a variety of issues, Goldsmith said.
Tuesday's action by the council does not allow the city to undo previous settlements like the one for Italiano.
Above average temperatures return to the county as high pressure strengthens south of our region. Marine layer will become very suppressed under the high pressure, but may not be completely dissipated.
The president of the La Mesa – Spring Valley School District Board on Tuesday faced calls to resign over a post on his personal Facebook page.
On Tuesday night, the voice of the San Diego Padres, Ted Leitner, returned to the radio booth just weeks after a cancer scare.
Throughout the nation Tuesday, the collective protest against the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the border reached fever pitch.
Despite community backlash, on Tuesday the San Diego Unified School District voted 4 to 1 to approve a new 300,000 square-foot housing project in Scripps Ranch that will replace a charter school and provide affordable housing units, a community garden and retail space.
Carlsbad's Ron Capps entered the funny car winner's circle on Friday for the the first time this season. Only being his first win is somewhat of a surprise as Capps had eight wins last season and won the NHRA funny car championship the year before.
Sentencing was held Tuesday for a man for his part in the attempted kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl from in front of her Encinitas home. Christopher White pleaded guilty to being an accessory to kidnapping.
A San Diego man ended up with an eight-ton problem in his driveway for a month. A 20-yard dumpster filled with dirt has been sitting in front of his house because it's too heavy for the company he rented it from to haul it away.
A Serra Mesa man who says people look "unhappy" when they drive to work decided to do something about it - for three decades.