Board members at the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System accused City Attorney Mike Aguirre of exhibiting “unprofessional and unethical behavior” when dealing with the panel’s in-house attorney, Chris Waddell.

In a letter to Mayor Jerry Sanders and Council President Scott Peters, the pension trustees relayed a story in which Aguirre phoned Waddell to claim that Wadell would be sued personally and that his own assets would be seized as a result.

The letter reads:

During the telephone call, the City Attorney threatened Mr. Waddell personally, asserting that the City Attorney would sue Mr. Waddell to “take his assets,” that Mr. Waddell was not a pension lawyer but was rather an “attorney for the unions,” a “tool” of labor and part of “a continuing conspiracy involving pension issues in the City.” The City Attorney also told Mr. Waddell that he should realize that his “personal assets are in jeopardy.” We understand that Mr. Aguirre’s comments were heard by others who were in his office at the time.

The SDCERS trustees, all of whom signed the letter, claims Aguirre’s conduct likely violates state and city ethics policies.

The letter to Sanders and Peters continues:

Intimidation by personal threat under color of law has no place in a civil society and we intend to explore the availability of sanctions against the City Attorney by the appropriate authorities.


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