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Every now and then, I get a letter or e-mail from some irate citizen demanding that I stop paying the illegal benefits. With the e-mails, I usually reply and ask which illegal benefits they are referring to. Some write, “the benefits that Mike’s against,” but most are informed and specifically refer to the enhanced pension benefits derived from MP-I and MP-II.

The answer I give is really a simple one: We (SDCERS Board of Administration) only pay benefits that are outlined in the city ordinance. Because the city ordinance is a law, we only pay legal benefits. And the city ordinance does include the enhanced benefits derived from MP-I and MP-II.

So, I guess they want me to stop paying the legal benefits?

What most people don’t know is that SDCERS, not the city attorney, took the city to court to get clarification on the legality of the enhanced pension benefits. SDCERS submitted its arguments before Superior Court that it has always followed the law and administering the pension benefits properly. To do otherwise would have been a breach of our fiduciary duties.

MARK SULLIVAN

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