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In what could be a final blow to outgoing City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s flagship pension lawsuit, the Fourth District Court of Appeals has dismissed the city’s appeal on procedural grounds, according to the court’s website.

In August 2007, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton threw out the last remnants of Aguirre’s pension case. The case, based on conflict-of-interest violations, was barred by the one-year statute of limitations for conflict cases, Barton ruled. Aguirre filed the civil lawsuit in 2005, alleging that retirement trustees improperly boosted their own pensions while at the same time agreeing to let the city underfund the retirement system in 2002.

Aguirre appealed the decision and it has been pending at the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Other arguments contained in Aguirre’s original case had been struck down previously.

The appeals court recently considered a motion by the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System, the defendant in the lawsuit, to dismiss Aguirre’s appeal on procedural grounds, according to the docket. The court docket says that the justices read and considered that motion and agreed with SDCERS, dismissing Aguirre’s appeal.

The docket says that the city is, effectively, attempting to appeal a decision that is couldn’t be appealed. Here’s what the docket says:

The City purports to appeal the September 17, 2007, judgment of dismissal of the City’s sixth amended cross-complaint, which is a nonappealable interlocutory judgment.

There’s no more information on the docket about why the justices decided the appeal shouldn’t be heard. Neither Aguirre nor attorneys for SDCERS could be reached immediately for comment, but we’ll have more information as we get it.

WILL CARLESS

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