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The City Council will weigh Monday the settlement of a pension lawsuit that a former employee and city leaders tentatively struck in June.

The proposed settlement would require the city to pay $173 million into its retirement plan over the next five years. The $100 million in tobacco revenue bonds that the city issued recently will count toward the settlement if it is approved, and the remaining $73 million will be collateralized with city-owned property.

City officials hope the settlement closes the door on being the subject of further pension underfunding lawsuits.

If the City Council agrees to the settlement, the lawsuit would then become a class-action suit and all members of the pension system would have a month to object. If the settlement goes untouched by other pension system members, then the city can never be sued for the pension underfunding that took place between 1996 and 2005.

The earliest the settlement can be finalized, is agreed to, is mid-September, plaintiffs attorney Michael Conger said.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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