Plaintiffs attorney Michael Conger, who has carved out a cottage industry of sorts in suing California pension systems, has been awarded $1 for his work on the McGuigan pension case.

Conger had sought between $2 million and $25 million “for his services and as a reward for serving the public interest,” according to the arbiter’s decision.

“The City of San Diego must husband its resources,” the arbiter wrote. “Every dollar is precious.”

The ruling states that the case is very similar to the Gleason case already brought by Conger. “Counsel received a multimillion dollar award in the Gleason case,” the decision states.

The Gleason settlement, forged in 2004, forced the city to abandon a payment structure in which it annually paid less than was recommended into its pension system. In the McGuigan case, the city and plaintiffs in the class-action suit mediated a settlement in which the city agreed to contribute $173 million into the pension system to make up for past underfunding.

Conger said he had more than $2 million in expenses in the case. “It will be the subject of future judicial proceedings,” he said of the ruling.


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