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August 6, 2010 | By Evan Halper and Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
The failure of the state's embattled pension system to take action after learning four years ago of Bell city officials' runaway salaries has put the fund under another unwelcome spotlight. The state attorney general says he is shocked that nobody at the fund alerted law enforcement. Professional auditors are perplexed by the lack of follow-up that even board members at the California Public Employees' Retirement System are at a loss to explain. During a routine audit in 2006, CalPERS learned that Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo had received a 47% salary increase the year before, driving his pay up to $442,000.
September 3, 2008 | Christian Berthelsen, Times Staff Writer
California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown waded into the legal fray Tuesday between Orange County and the union that represents sheriff's deputies, taking the union's side and saying he would seek to file a brief opposing the county's effort to slash deputies' pensions. Brown's entry came after months of discussions with Tom Umberg, a former Democratic state assemblyman now representing the deputies union as a lawyer in the case, and Wayne Quint, the president of the union. The two flew to Oakland to meet with Brown on two occasions in recent months, according to people familiar with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about them.
February 16, 2011 | By Mike Bresnahan
Instead of All-Stars, NBA fans were almost treated to All-Silence. The NBA was about to go live on television in 1964 for one of the first times, a major opportunity for a struggling league, when the game's top talent threatened to back out of the All-Star game a few hours before tip-off. Long before the labor lockout in 1998-99 and before whatever awaits the NBA this summer in a new labor negotiation, in 1964 a group of players became pioneers of a sort, banding together to fight for a pension, among other things.
November 20, 2012 | By Catherine Saillant and Christine Mai-Duc, Los Angeles Times
A ferocious battle between former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and the city's police and civilian unions broke out at City Hall on Tuesday, overshadowing a City Council action to help stabilize municipal finances by putting a sales tax increase on the ballot. The 82-year-old Riordan strode to the podium Tuesday morning, urging the council to refrain from putting a sales tax hike on the ballot until it exhausts other ways of repairing its chronically underfunded budget. "What Los Angeles needs is more jobs, not more taxes," Riordan said shortly before the council voted 11 to 4 to place a half-cent sales tax increase before voters during the March 5 primary.
February 24, 1985
Lester C. Thurow's article, "Military Pension System Should Be Replaced by Severance Pay, Bonuses" (Feb. 17) reflects uninformed problem-solving typical of eggheads in ivory towers. Service personnel do not receive "pensions" for past services, do not realize half-pay at 20 years, do not have any vested interest in retirement pay and are usually subject to being passed over for promotion or pressured to get out by military managers after 20 years, without much option to stay in. As to Thurow's major premise regarding severance pay and bonuses instead of "pensions," the U.S. Supreme Court held in a community property dispute involving the disposition of the husband's military pension (McCarty vs. McCarty, 1981)
July 3, 2011 | Jerry Crowe
Carmen Fanzone always led a double life. Sufficiently skilled with bat and glove to reach the major leagues, the former utility infielder also was talented enough with a trumpet to spend time with a popular recording group. His extraordinary multitasking ability was never more evident than during his stint with the Chicago Cubs in the early 1970s, when a schedule full of day games at Wrigley Field afforded him a preponderance of free time to prowl the city's nightclubs after dark — not to chase women, but to pursue gigs.
May 4, 2012
Re "Treating a spending addiction," Opinion, April 30 I suggest that City Councilman Bernard C. Parks - who receives both a salary for his current job and, as a retired Los Angeles police chief, a pension - put his money where his mouth is and give up his double-dipping. Beyond that, Parks should really perform "public service" by proposing a ban on double-dipping. If an individual feels the need to spend his career in public service, it should be sufficient to retire on one pension.
August 21, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The rising cost of public employee pensions represent s one of the biggest fiscal challenges for California governments over the long term. The state took an important step to rein in those costs last year when the Legislature adopted a pension reform law pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Transit unions complained about the law to U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, however, and he's threatening to withhold billions of dollars in grants for California mass-transit projects in response.
January 16, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
The direct income President Bush receives from taxpayers will be cut in half when he leaves the White House next week. Still, he'll receive a pension of almost $200,000 to tide him over in his first year of retirement in his new home in Dallas. Vice President Dick Cheney also will be able to survive a prolonged recession with a pension starting at about $132,000, according to the National Taxpayers Union, a taxpayer advocacy group that follows pension issues.
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