I’ve had some back and forth today with Mike Aguirre’s office regarding the amount of money their pension-related legal efforts have cost San Diego taxpayers, and the amount the city attorney has won in pension-related malpractice suits.

Today, Aguirre announced a proposed $4.35 million settlement in his malpractice case against Vinson & Elkins. The city paid the Houston-based law firm $6.2 million in 2004 and 2005 for an investigation into the pension mess that the Securities and Exchange Commission later declared compromised.

The new settlement, he said, brought the city’s total take from malpractice suits to $10.5 million. Beyond the Vinson & Elkins case, the city has won $4.5 million from pension consultants Callan Associates, Inc.; $900,000 from auditors Caporrici & Larson and $750,000 from auditors Calderon, Jaham & Osborn, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

However, the $10.5 million figure does not take into account costs and contingency fees paid to outside lawyers. So the city will likely net between $7.5 million and $8 million from the cases when its all said and done.

Which brings us to the amount Aguirre’s pension efforts has cost the city so far. In my earlier post, I cited a Union-Tribune story from last year that estimated those costs to be around $7.3 million. Aguirre disputes that number, saying a fair accounting of the costs would be closer to $2.7 million.


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