Panel: Former police union presidents cannot factor salaries int - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Panel: Former police union presidents cannot factor salaries into city pensions

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Three former presidents of the San Diego Police Officers Association are not allowed to use their union salary in calculating their city pensions, according to an appellate ruling announced Wednesday by the City Attorney's Office.

The appellants -- Garry Collins, Harry Eastus, William Farrar and the SDPOA -- claimed they were promised by city officials that they could use their union salaries when computing city retirement benefits even though they were accrued while on leave from the SDPD. They said the city followed that practice since 1989.

Their claims were denied last year by San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor, who found that such agreements conflicted with the City Charter, which says benefits can only be granted by ordinance. The judge's position was supported last Friday by a three-judge appellate panel.

"Through this and other recent decisions, both trial judges and appellate justices have been consistent in enforcing the terms of the San Diego City Charter on pension matters," said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. "The message is clear that our City Charter must be followed."

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