The Fourth District Court of Appeals said the city of San Diego’s challenge to a Superior Court judge’s order to pay the attorney fees for six former and current city officials was dismissed Thursday.

The appeal was “untimely,” the appellate court ruled.

Thursday’s ruling upheld Judge Linda Quinn’s ruling that the city should pay the legal fees for former Deputy City Manager Bruce Herring, firefighters union president Ron Saathoff, fingerprint examiner John Torres, management analyst Sharon Wilkinson, former Human Resources Director Cathy Lexin and former Assistant Auditor Terri Webster.

City Attorney Mike Aguirre alleges in civil litigation that the six individuals benefited off of pension funding deals that were struck in 1996 and 2002. The city attorney claims that, if successful, the lawsuit will halve the city’s $1.4 billion deficit. Herring has since been removed from the pension litigation, and Aguirre is on the sixth version of his primary legal attack to the benefits.

The eight defendants were denied funding for their legal defense in August when a shorthanded council did not muster up the five council votes needed to provide indemnification, although the judge said a city resolution was in place that required them to dole out the money for their attorneys.


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