San Diego Superior Court Judge David Oberholtzer has scheduled a hearing for Monday morning on whether to issue a temporary restraining order that could push back a deadline for employees to decide whether to retire before changes to a controversial deferred retirement program take effect.

The city has approved changes to the controversial program that are supposed to take effect July 1, but the police union wants to postpone their implementation while the court considers whether the Deferred Retirement Option Plan is a vested pension benefit that can’t be altered.

The police union’s attorney, Michael Conger, said a city lawyer told him today that the city won’t contest a temporary restraining order that would last until the judge makes a subsequent ruling in the case. A spokeswoman for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith couldn’t be reached for comment.

On Tuesday, Goldsmith set off a firestorm when he released a memo opining that DROP was never properly implemented and therefore needs no vote by the employees to make certain changes to it.

Among the many reactions the opinion prompted was a motion filed today by the white-collar city employee union to intervene in the DROP lawsuit between the city and police. The union’s filing says the lawsuit, when combined with Goldsmith’s statements, threatens employees’ ability to take part in DROP.


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