Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Retirement administrator Larry Grissom announced his retirement Friday after 18 years at the helm of the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System.

Grissom, 62, made the announcement at the end of the board’s regular monthly meeting.

“Thank you Larry on behalf of this board, all previous boards and the taxpayers of this fine city,” said board president Peter Preovolos. Staff and board members offered Grissom profound thanks and praise.

Grissom said the retirement had been planned and had nothing to do with the heightened attention given recently to the pension system, which is beset by a $1.37 billion deficit and is central to ongoing local and federal investigations.

He said he plans to serve until the end of the year.

In its meeting, the pension board didn’t address the issue of waiving its attorney-client privilege. The waiver has dominated board discussion since April, when a majority of new board members were brought in to overhaul the embattled board.

Outside auditors say they need access to board documents in order to complete investigations into alleged wrongdoing and certify the city’s long-delayed 2003 and 2004 audits. With the audits on hold, the city remains barred from public finance markets and, therefore, the cash to do things cities do: fix roads, replace sewer lines and build fire houses.

The city’s credit rating was suspended in September following the discovery of errors and omissions in the city’s financial statements to investors.

Federal investigators have also requested the waiver in connection with probes into city finances and politics.

“It wasn’t on the agenda because there’s no new stuff to discuss,” Grissom said. “… It’s not a dead issue.”

– ANDREW DONOHUE, Voice Political Writer

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