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On the eve of the city’s landmark pension trial, San Diego reached a partial settlement with its pension system yesterday. The two parties agreed to let a court’s ruling on the legality of employee pension benefit boosts decide whether or not the benefits get paid, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

City Attorney Mike Aguirre has sought an order from the court requiring the city auditor to cease the payment of the benefits on the argument that they were created in an illegal and corrupt agreement. In the settlement, the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System agreed to accept the final ruling of the court, the City Attorney’s Office said.

Last week, a judge ruled in favor of the pension system in a pre-trial motion, finding that SDCERS had correctly continued to dispense the contested benefits pending a final court judgment.

The pension system remains a party to the case, as it is attempting to recoup about $240 million it alleges it was shortchanged by the city. The meat of the case will be the dispute between Aguirre and employee groups, including the labor unions. The first day of trial begins at 9 a.m. today. Check back with TJI regularly for updates.

(Correction: The original version of this post erroneously stated that the pension system was out of the litigation. We regret the error.)

ANDREW DONOHUE

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