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The city of San Diego has asked a judge to make sure that a pension benefit supposed to be phased out for employees hired after 2005 will not be available despite City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s delay in preparing the paperwork needed to close down the program.

Attorneys at Wright & L’Estrange filed the lawsuit against the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System on Monday. The retirement system argues the 680 employees who were hired between July 1, 2005 and Feb. 16, 2007 are eligible to purchase service credits to boost their future retirement pay because Aguirre held off on codifying the changes in order to protect his pension lawsuit.

That year and a half represents the window of time between the date the City Council negotiated to eliminate the benefit for new hires and the day Aguirre’s changes to the municipal code became effective.

Aguirre claims there was no lapse, but Sanders requested the council remove the city attorney from the case after arguing that the City Attorney’s Office dropped the ball on the issue.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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