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  #11  
Old 01-13-2012, 07:45 AM
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Publication Date:01/12/2012Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)BRIEF: Judge refuses to dismiss CalPERS suit against Moody's, S&P [The Sacramento Bee, Calif.]Publication Date01/12/2012Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)BRIEF: Judge refuses to dismiss CalPERS suit against Moody's, S&P [The Sacramento Bee, Calif.]

Jan. 12--A judge has refused to dismiss a CalPERS lawsuit against Wall Street's leading credit-rating firms over a $1 billion investment loss.
The ruling by Judge Richard Kramer in San Francisco Superior Court keeps alive CalPERS' lawsuit against Moody's Corp. and Standard & Poor's.
"We're pleased with the judge's order," said CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco.
The two firms gave high ratings to a collection of exotic investments, known as structured investment vehicles, that drew $1 billion in CalPERS money in 2006. The deals all collapsed over the next two years.
CalPERS sued Moody's, S&P and Fitch Ratings, blaming their "wildly inaccurate" ratings for duping the big pension fund into investing in the deal.
Fitch was dropped from the case in August. In return, the ratings company agreed to supply CalPERS with confidential documents that could help the California fund press its case against Moody's and S&P.


It'll be interesting to see how this turns out.
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2012, 07:56 AM
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Shouldn't this be in federal court? Wouldn't this judge have his pension with CALPERS?
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  #13  
Old 01-13-2012, 08:50 AM
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Shouldn't this be in federal court? Wouldn't this judge have his pension with CALPERS?
Yes, it should be in federal court. But ask Alaska and Maryland about that.

Unfortunately, this is the norm when these types of issues reach the state court - the judges whose pensions are directly impacted by the outcome of the case get to make the decisions. It's a travesty and a huge conflict of interest. I have no idea how/why it's allowed.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:14 PM
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Shouldn't this be in federal court? Wouldn't this judge have his pension with CALPERS?
There's lots of state judges involved in ruling on stuff that affect their own pensions (cf. the constitutionality of changing benefits under the particular state's constitution).

I would think suing the rating agencies over investment losses would be a federal issue, though, not state. But then, I'm not a law-speaking-person
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Lane Meyers View Post
Yes, it should be in federal court. But ask Alaska and Maryland about that.

Unfortunately, this is the norm when these types of issues reach the state court - the judges whose pensions are directly impacted by the outcome of the case get to make the decisions. It's a travesty and a huge conflict of interest. I have no idea how/why it's allowed.
In the case of ruling whether or not something is constitutional under the state's constitution.... is not a federal matter. Has to be handled by the state courts.
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  #16  
Old 01-13-2012, 04:22 PM
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I resent being called a paid flunky. I just did the calculation with THEIR assumptions for which I bear no responsibility.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:29 PM
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I resent being called a paid flunky. I just did the calculation with THEIR assumptions for which I bear no responsibility.
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  #18  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:37 PM
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thanks for the seasoning, guys.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:59 PM
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I resent being called a paid flunky. I just did the calculation with THEIR assumptions for which I bear no responsibility.
If you have no personal responsibility for this, don't take it personally.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:10 PM
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Some recent news stories --


Illinois: bad-timing award goes to lawyer
http://www.suntimes.com/9948220-417/...y-pension.html

Quote:
Marovitz — a lawyer and longtime Democratic Party leader in Illinois who is separated from his wife, former Playboy chief executive officer Christie Hefner — already gets a government pension of $102,480 a year for the 20 years he served as a state legislator and member of the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

He was seeking a second government pension — which would have paid an estimated $50,000 a year — for the 27 years he did legal work for two City Hall pension funds.

One problem: He was never a city employee, just a lawyer in private practice whose clients included two city pension funds.

That was the view of city pension officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s two top financial advisers. They unanimously rejected Marovitz’s application for a city pension.
....


Marovitz was seeking a pension deal similar to the one that was granted in 1998 to then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s brother-in-law, Dr. Robert M. Vanecko, when Vanecko — then chief of staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital — gave up his side job as the city pension fund’s medical adviser.

Vanecko, who still works at Northwestern, gets a $77,000 yearly government pension, which so far has paid him a total of $875,000.
….
Like Marovitz, Vanecko was classified as a “nonemployee” on the Form 1099s the pension funds issued to him and the IRS. No taxes were withheld from his pension fund paychecks, but Vanecko did contribute $89,136 toward his pension.

Vanecko used the city’s early retirement program to buy an additional three and a half years of government service, then combined his time with the city and Cook County Hospital to give him 36.5 years of service so he could get a maximum pension equal to 80 percent of his average city salary of $66,756 a year. Since he retired, yearly cost-of-living increases have boosted his pension by 46 percent, to $77,000 a year. The city pays about 70 percent; the county pays the rest.

Marovitz, as the pension board’s attorney, was present when Vanecko’s pension was approved by a 5-0 vote. The five were: the second Mayor Daley’s chief financial officer, Walter Knorr; Daley’s city comptroller, Phoebe Selden; city Treasurer Miriam Santos; board secretary Iacullo; and trustee John Briatta, who, like Vanecko, is a brother-in-law of Cook County Commissioner John Daley. Briatta went to prison as a result of the federal Hired Truck Program investigation for taking bribes.
You should've gotten to the trough before Daley left, dude.

Others continuing with a sweet deal:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...a-records-show

Quote:
Working for a public agency with a runaway overtime problem, CTA veteran Jackie Hubbard logged an average of 34 hours of OT on top of each 40-hour week, according to payroll records.

“Some people at CTA are picky about the type of work they do and the hours they work,” said Hubbard, a rail service supervisor. “Not me. Overtime is something I sought, and I took any piece of work available.”

It paid off — and will keep paying off for Hubbard into the future. Not only did she receive more than $436,000 in overtime pay since 2005, but her pension checks will balloon by more than $46,000 each year because of a unique perk long ago negotiated into CTA contracts.

At the CTA, overtime is included in calculations used to determine pensions.
…..
Among all the public agencies in Illinois, only at the CTA can employees boost their pensions with overtime — a practice that has been in place since at least 1965, according to CTA officials.

Unfortunately for taxpayers, the one agency that uses overtime to calculate pensions also has struggled to contain its overtime costs.

....

In many cases, CTA employees receiving overtime pay are not working extra hours, CTA officials said. Yet there is nothing management can do about it under the current collective-bargaining agreement, which expired Dec. 31 but is being extended until contract negotiations produce a new agreement.

CTA linemen, electricians, signal maintainers and ironworkers, among others, have set work hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Regardless of the number of hours worked, they receive overtime equaling 1 1/2 times the regular hourly wage if they work outside those set hours, according to the contract. Ironworkers receive double pay.
….

Senior bus and rail operators who have first choice over picking their schedules often take advantage of additional overtime opportunities that require little or no work, officials said.

For instance, employees with seniority frequently volunteer for the “extraboard,” which is a list of hundreds of bus and train operators who are on paid standby to fill in for employees who call in sick. Absenteeism is a huge problem at the CTA, costing the agency up to $40 million a year, including overtime and the cost of keeping extra personnel on standby to avoid canceling runs, the Tribune reported in October.
I would change that "unfortunately for taxpayers" to "As should have been expected"

NY:
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...sEnabled=false

Quote:
ALBANY — Proclaiming a new course for New York, Gov. Cuomo unveiled a budget proposal Tuesday that reduces spending for the second straight year while seeking pension reform, a statewide teacher evaluation system and Medicaid reform.
....
The governor’s budget includes a new pension model for all new state, city and local government employees — including for incoming city cops and firefighters — that is estimated to save $30 billion over the next three decades.

As the Daily News first reported, the governor’s proposed initiative would — for the first time — offer new hires the option to enroll in an employer-matched 401(K) defined contribution plan or take pension benefits that are less generous than those currently offered.

Cuomo’s concept would increase the minimum retirement age to 65, up from 62, and raise the number of years before one can qualify for a pension. It would also hike worker contributions and bar overtime pay from influencing final pension payouts.
Well, that's good to hear.

California:
San Diego:
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/...-redevelopmen/
Quote:
On the stage together for the first time, the four major contenders for San Diego mayor sparred Friday over public employee pensions and redevelopment as they offered starkly different visions for the city’s future.

The candidates — City Councilman Carl DeMaio, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Rep. Bob Filner and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher — stuck close to the scripts they’ve laid out on the campaign trail during the debate but occasionally took jabs at each other and elicited laughs from a crowd of political insiders at the U.S. Grant Hotel.

Not surprisingly, the first question from the media panel was about a proposed initiative headed for the June ballot that would eliminate guaranteed pensions for all new city hires except police officers and give them a 401(k)-style plan instead. Mayor Jerry Sanders crafted it with DeMaio, and it is supported by Dumanis and Fletcher, all of whom are Republicans. Filner, the lone Democrat, opposes it.
....
Fletcher scored the best line of the night when the candidates were asked if they would follow the lead of Dumanis and pledge to give up the annual mayoral salary of $100,464 to a cause. Dumanis pledged to give hers to education programs earlier in the week.

“I will give my salary in its entirety to the charity of Bonnie’s choice if she’ll give me her pension,” Fletcher said to roaring laughter and applause. Voiceofsandiego.org has estimated Dumanis is eligible for a nearly $250,000 annual pension when she retires after nearly four decades of public service.
HA HA HA HA HA [=cough= =cough= damn this cold]

I'm sure he was waiting to spring that one the entire time. Nice to have a set-up for the spike.
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