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Friday, August 12, 2005 | San Diego’s pension board will consider at a special meeting called for Monday a waiver of attorney-client privilege that is currently preventing auditors and investigators from accessing the retirement system’s confidential documents.

The City Council, City Attorney Mike Aguirre, hired outside consultants and federal investigators have called on the trustees overseeing the embattled San Diego Employees’ Retirement System to waive the privilege in order to assure KPMG, the outside auditor certifying the city’s annual financial statements from 2003.

The public securities markets cannot be accessed by San Diego without certified financial statements, effectively crippling the city’s ability to issue at a decent rate the bonds needed for infrastructure repair and construction within the city. Some officials have also expressed interest in borrowing on the public markets to refinance it’s obligation to SDCERS, which is currently underfunded by at least $1.37 billion.

Although a waiver has been sought by officials outside the pension system for months now, the board has refused to waive on several occasions.

The topic of waiving the privilege was not addressed at the SDCERS board’s July 29 meeting, irking some trustees who wanted the item to be scheduled for discussion.

The SDCERS board will take up the attorney-client privilege waiver during closed session of the meeting at 8:30 a.m.

– EVAN MCLAUGHLIN, Voice Staff Writer

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