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Here’s the video from the bankruptcy panel I wrote about below:

I thought an interesting discussion developed below my post.

Writer “Bystander” had this question:

Did anyone at the forum cite existing California case law where a municipal corporation was able to “tear up agreements with employees no matter what anyone says about them being vested benefits or not”? I’ve not seen such an expample, and question whether California courts would ever allow such an outcome. This issue is critical, because if a bankruptcy proceeding does not modify vested pension benefits, it doesn’t seem there’s much to be gained from it.

And Taxpayers Association CEO Lani Lutar responded with this:

Bystander: Yes, the question was addressed at our forum and you’ll be able to hear the panel response for yourself by Wednesday when we post our video at link Perhaps Scott might be kind enough to also post on his blog? That said, quick answer to your question is YES if it’s part of the labor contract (Mojdehi). Mann cited Vallejo and OC cases as setting precedent and noted that “vesting provisions of California state law are in essence trumped by bankruptcy code assumption and rejection”

And then there was this from former Assistant City Attorney Don McGrath:

what a super panel. too bad jerry sanders was not there for he would have heard what mike aguirre,pat shea and i have told him and the city council over and over for the past five years…” IT IS TIME TO SEEK RELIEF UNDER CHAPTER 9 OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE.the city of san diego will never get out from under its present debt problems and it will only get worse…especially for the taxpayer who will get less and less service from the city. the chief of police has said over and over that he cannot cut anymore and one only need to look at our streets to realize the city of san diego cannot pay its debts as they come due. all you ever hear is ” not on my watch”. i believe that is what the captain of the titanic said?……..don mcgrath,former assistant cityattorney.

What McGrath leaves out is how his boss, former City Attorney Mike Aguirre fired him for a day (Aguirre did this from time to time) for advocating bankruptcy passionately. Actually, they probably just yelled at each other and in the heat of the moment, he got “fired.” But to say Aguirre was a steadfast supporter of bankruptcy is leaving out some things.

Aguirre, the man who said everything that came to his mind, never took a public position in favor of bankruptcy. He may have alluded to it at times and he may have been, in private, an advocate, but he was just as reluctant to have the public conversation as the mayor.

SCOTT LEWIS

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