STOCKTON - While in violation of the city charter, retirement benefits that Stockton paid for years on behalf of some elected leaders were perfectly legal according to state law, which overrides any local rules.
So representatives of the California Public Employees' Retirement System said Thursday.
Called CalPERS, the state agency manages pensions for 1.6 million public workers, including a longstanding contract with Stockton.
City leaders said they will now undertake bringing Stockton's CalPERS contract in line with its charter. Until that happens, they also will discourage any newly elected Stockton leaders from enrolling.
CalPERS already has agreed to remove from its rolls three city current elected officials - councilmen Elbert Holman and Dale Fritchen and Mayor Ann Johnston - if each so chooses. The public-pension agency will credit Stockton the funds contributed for each.
"I will disenroll," Johnston said. "Absolutely."
Fritchen said Thursday he was still fuzzy on the details. The three leaders expect a full debriefing Monday at City Hall. But Fritchen said he's intent on doing whatever is right by taxpayers.
Fritchen repeatedly has described dysfunction at City Hall, which led to the controversy, "frustrating."
"I keep saying that," he said. "I can't think of any other word."
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Stockton mayors and council members enrolled in the CalPERS retirement fund, and the amount the city contributed:
Mayors *Bold Denotes if official is still in office.
• Joan Darrah: $7,682.62 (collected retirement, now deceased)
• Ann Johnston: $45, 538.61 (not retired)
*Why is her dollar amount so much Higher than the rest of the people that have yet to retire? Maybe because she has been in
office longer than the City Charter's Limit. So she has almost $46,000 extra in her retirement, don't you think her "expert eye for finding the
problem" that she touts she has would've caught that amount in her should be non-existent pension??
• Gary Podesto: $7,018.43 (collecting retirement)
• Steve Bestolarides: $15,475.79 (not retired)
• Dan Chapman: $15,561.42 (not vested)
• Dale Fritchen: $12,189.52 (still accruing retirement)
• Gary Giovanetti: $8,326.68 (not vested)
• Ted Gonzales: $3,003.95 (not vested; cashed out his own money)
• Elbert Holman: $12,189.91 (still accruing retirement)
• Clem Lee: $15,622.18 (not vested)
• Leslie Martin: $23,599.99 (not retired yet)
• Sylvia Sun Minnick: $2,269.38 (collecting retirement)
• Victor Mow: $4,194.24 (collecting retirement)
• Rebecca Nabors: $15,566.89 (cashed out)
• Richard Nickerson: $4,486.29 (collecting retirement)
• Melvin Panizza: $4,297.94 (collecting retirement)
Source: City of Stockton