Monday, April 05, 2010

SDCERA lawyers screw up big time, and Voice of San Diego's Rob Davis does their legal research

It seems that the California Bar Association has given law degrees to several people who shouldn't have them. But that doesn't explain why SDCERA would hire such people, does it? Perhaps the answer is suggested by the name of Rob Davis' blog: "In the muck."

Outsourcing to Pension Consultant Is Illegal, Attorney Says
April 1, 2010
Rob Davis
Voice of San Diego

Two weeks ago, when the county pension fund agreed to solicit offers to outsource its 10-member investment team, Lee Partridge planned to submit a bid.

Partridge, the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association's top investment consultant, had the blessing of the organization's attorney, Steven Rice. Even though Partridge had proposed creating the work, which would've paid his company more than $10 million annually, SDCERA's attorney said it was legal for him to bid. A perceived conflict existed, Rice said, but not an actual one.

Then I asked questions about whether Partridge's bid would violate a specific law that prohibits government employees from benefiting financially from contracts they're involved in creating. I found a state Attorney General's opinion that suggested it would be illegal.

I gave the opinion to County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, a pension board member, who in turn asked for a legal analysis of my questions.

Today, the board got its answer: What it wanted to do is illegal. Partridge can't get the work...

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