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Friday, April 13, 2012

Defamation Trial Told Pension Deficit Is Nearly Catastrophic

Former Common Councillor John Ferguson defends his comparison of Saint John's pension woes with those of San Diego which the Pension Board claims is defamatory.

Ferguson told the defamation trial the pension plan in San Diego was not properly funded and neither was Saint John's with the city not making its contributions in 2004 and 2005.
In San Diego there was a lawsuit launched by some of the pension plan members which resulted in a 178 million dollar settlement.
As for his reference to a desperate gambler, Ferguson says he was talking about Common Council transferring the financial burden of early retirements to the city's pension plan when it was tanking.
Ferguson also testified about a nasty meeting of Vision 2015 that was held.

Ferguson told the court then Pension Board member and Common Councillor Glen Tait didn't call him a scumbag at that meeting......That happened later during a Council meeting, but did tell him to bite his "arse".

Ferguson found out, just before that meeting, the Pension Board was told it would have to lower its rate of return assumption which would result in a significant increase in the pension's plan's deficit.
Ferguson also denies grandstanding, telling the jury he was concerned about the rising deficit with the pension plan which he says is now to the point of being catastrophic.