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Getting the drop on DROP: Retirement board asks Goldsmith to withdraw his memo

June 3, 2009 - 5:34 pm

San Diego’s retirement board thinks the City Attorney was just completely wrong in his analysis, issued yesterday, that the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) was legally invalid.

Goldsmith’s legal analysis was founded on the fact that in the original vote to approve new benefits in 1996, the package had  been approved by a majority of workers voting, but not a majority of all workers.

But the letter from the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System Administrator David Wescoe is harshly critical of Goldsmith’s memo. Among other problems, Wescoe notes Goldsmith’s failure to acknowledge a legal opinion written by City Attorney John Witt in 1996 that specifically defines a majority vote as a majority of voting members. It also reproaches Goldsmith for rushing the memo’s production and in so doing making critical errors in producing it.

After detailing additional problems the letter ends:

“Given the extremely serious consequences that will result from unilaterally invalidating the DROP ordinance, particularly on the basis of such demonstrably incomplete legal research and analysis, SDCERS urges the City Attorney to withdraw the Memorandum unless and until sufficient legal research and analysis is performed on the issues raised in this letter.”

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