City Attorney Mike Aguirre today said the settlement with Vinson & Elkins, which we reported earlier today, brings the total recoveries to $10.5 million from malpractice suits he has filed against various professionals related to the pension fiasco.

He said the recoveries “more than offset” the costs of his larger pension litigation. That is debatable. A tally of the costs related to Aguirre’s suits by The San Diego Union-Tribune last year totaled $7.3 million. And the city has had to pay contingency fees to Bryan Vess and other outside attorneys.

We are waiting for a total of the contingency fees from Aguirre’s office. Check back later.

Vinson & Elkins, the Houston-based law firm Aguirre sued for malpractice two years ago, has agreed to pay back or forgive 70 percent of the money it billed the city to investigate pension system dealings.

Aguirre announced the $4.35 million settlement with Vinson & Elkins today, calling it part of his office’s “on-going effort to recover funds to help the city out financially.”

The firm billed the city $6.2 million over 18 months in 2004 and the first half of 2005 for a review of the city’s questionable financial disclosures. Later in 2005, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the firm’s review for its lack of independence.

For more background on Vinson & Elkins, read Andrew Donohue‘s 2005 special report.

Aguirre filed his suit in 2006, seeking over $10 million in damages.


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