PASADENA — After 2 1/2 months of bickering with the city's elected officials, the Fire and Police Retirement Board has agreed to divest its holdings in companies that do business in South Africa.
The retirement board had earlier refused to obey the city Board of Directors' order to divest, saying the move would hurt the $35.2-million pension fund.
But the retirement board dropped its opposition at a special meeting with the directors on Monday.
David Davis, vice chairman of the retirement board, said the change of heart came after members were told that the City Charter requires that the fund be "subject to the same terms, limitations and restrictions" as the state public employees retirement fund.
Since Jan. 1, 1987, state law has prohibited the California retirement system from investing in companies with South African ties.
Davis said the retirement board's attorney still has to confirm the City Charter requirements but that he expects no surprises.
"No one is served by having this drag on," he said.
The fund now has $3.5 million, or 10% of its stock holdings, in companies such as 3M Corp., Control Data Corp. and Texaco Inc. that continue to do business with South Africa.