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The City Council convened a private meeting with City Attorney Mike Aguirre this morning to discuss a proposal that would partially settle San Diego’s main pension lawsuit.

The partial settlement being pitched by Aguirre would be between the city and its retirement board – and not the unions defending the legality of a number of pension benefit boosts received by employees. The city’s dispute with the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System has been narrowed to the issue of recovering the money the city shorted the pension fund in two underfunding deals. The exclusion of the labor unions from a potential settlement deal likely signals that Aguirre is not aiming to compromise on the amount of benefits he wants to challenge.

The case begins trial tomorrow in front of Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton.

Judie Italiano, the general manager for the city’s white-collar union, addressed the council before they closed the doors to discuss the litigation.

Italiano urged the council to discuss the merits of the case and consider dropping its legal fight. She said the employees’ bristling at the fight over benefits has created an “an all-time low morale” for city workers.

We’ll keep you posted.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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