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Judge rules for pension transparency

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Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:00 am

A Superior Court judge recently ordered the release of all pension data for 50,000 Los Angeles County government retirees, rejecting arguments by the union that the records are confidential. The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association had, for two years, resisted turning over even the names of pension recipients.

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant's ruling ended a years-long battle for pension transparency in California and held that the Los Angeles Times and taxpayer advocates are entitled to know the retiree's start date, years of service at retirement, the pension formula and the gross medical benefits of Los Angeles County retirees. Scores of LACERA's 50,000 retirees receive six-figure pensions.

In the last 2 1/2 years, eight different California Superior Court judges have ruled in favor of pension transparency. It appears the advocates of openness have defeated the forces of secrecy.

David Renison

President

San Joaquin County Taxpayers Association

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