The fiduciary counsel to the city of San Diego’s pension system has abruptly resigned.

San Francisco attorney Harvey Leiderman of the firm Reed Smith had served as the pension system’s fiduciary counsel for about two years before stepping down last Friday. The pension system wouldn’t release his resignation letter, saying it was protected by the attorney-client privilege.

“It is a communication between our counsel and our board and until and unless the board waives its right, it remains protected,” said San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System spokeswoman Rebecca Wilson. The board is expected to hear the matter in closed session Friday.

There reportedly had been tension between Leiderman and pension administrator David Wescoe.

A number of pension board members said they couldn’t comment on the resignation. Leiderman also declined to comment.

When Leiderman began advising the pension board, it was at the heart of the city’s legal and financial troubles. A previous fiduciary counsel, Bob Blum, was a major figure in the 2002 pension scandal and eventually settled a malpractice suit with the system for $15 million.


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