Saturday, June 14, 2008

Aguirre has recovered $10 million, more than he's spent in pension lawsuits

Mike Aguirre's campaign for reelection just got a big shot in the arm. His accusers must now admit that his aggressive pursuit of those who defrauded San Diego in the pension scam and related investigations has paid off for the city.

$4.35 million settlement in pension lawsuit
Law firm represented city before the SEC

By Craig Gustafson
San Diego Union Tribune
June 14, 2008

Vinson & Elkins, the Houston-based law firm whose two-year investigation into San Diego's finances was criticized as a whitewash, has agreed to settle with the city for $4.35 million.

The firm would be the fourth to settle lawsuits related to financial and legal troubles from the city practice of increasing employee pension benefits while cutting funding for them.

Pension-related settlements:

July 2006: Two auditing firms, Caporicci & Larson and Calderon, Jaham & Osborn, paid $1.65 million total to the city. Calderon conducted the city's annual financial audits, which were later found to contain million of dollars in errors. Caporicci, of Costa Mesa, later bought the firm and denied any wrongdoing by itself or Calderon.

November 2006: San Francisco-based Callan Associates, a pension consultant that advised San Diego's retirement system, agreed to pay $4.5 million to the city. City Attorney Michael Aguirre accused them of faulty investment advice. The firm admitted to no wrongdoing.

City Attorney Michael Aguirre classified the settlement as a victory for his pension-related lawsuits, even though he had sought $10 million.

Vinson & Elkins, which also represented Enron, admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay back $3.25 million to the city and forgive $1.1 million in outstanding bills, Aguirre said. The City Council will vote Tuesday on the settlement...

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