SDCERS Responds to the City Attorney's DROP Memorandum

Date: Jun 03, 2009


David Wescoe, SDCERS' Administrator/CEO, responded to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith's June 1 Memorandum of Law regarding the City Attorney's new interpetation of San Diego City Charter section 143.1's requirement of a "majority vote of the members of said system," for approval of an ordinance amending the municipal code that affects member benefits.

Wescoe noted that the City Attorney failed to address a number of significant issues in the Memorandum, including City Attorney John Witt's 1996 opinion that is directly contrary to the City Attorney's June 1 conclusion.

Wescoe stated that the City Attorney acted precipitously by publishing a legal analysis that failed to address, or analyze, relevant legal principles bearing on the issue.

While Wescoe's letter noted that it represents only a preliminary review by SDCERS of the Memorandum, "it appears significant questions exist regarding the sufficiency of the legal reseaerch and analysis upon which you have reversed decades of pension system administration. 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 addressed in this letter, as well as any additional issues which may come to light once SDCERS has had sufficient time to fully analyze the Memorandum."

Click the links below to read the letter and Witt's referenced 1996 opinion in their entirety:

  David Wescoe's Response to City Attorney's Memorandum of Law (6-3-09) 

 City Attorney John Witt's 1996 Opinion (7-23-96)


Related documents:

  City Attorney's Memorandum of Law (6-1-09)

  City Attorney's Letter re: Memorandum of Law (6-2-09) 

   Ann Smith's (MEA) Letter re: DROP (6-2-09)

  City Attorney's Follow-up Letter to SDCERS (6-2-09)

  Councilman DeMaio's Memo to City Attorney (6-2-09)




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