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Rebecca Wilson, a spokeswoman for the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System, said that seven employees hired after July 1, 2005 have purchased service credits. Because of a paperwork gaffe, they were able to slip through a window left open for 20 months despite the City Council’s decision to close the program to new hires that summer.

The benefit program, which allows employees to add years of service to their pension calculation by purchasing credits, became the hot political topic at City Hall over the last few days after Mayor Jerry Sanders lambasted City Attorney Mike Aguirre for allowing the benefit to endure.

Those seven employees are among an estimated 680 employees who are eligible for service credits and the D.R.O.P program, which allows employees to save their pension pay while they continue to work as retirees, because of the lapse in paperwork that Aguirre allowed.

Update: The original version of this post reported that eight employees received the benefit based on information from the retirement system. However, the system updated those figures after we published, saying the number was instead seven. An employee of the airport authority was incorrectly counted in the original figure, Wilson said.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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