Another SD Pension Board Member Resigns

October 19, 2005 ( - San Diego City Pension board member, John Torres, has resigned citing "crushing personal and financial burdens" he and his family have suffered as a result of his job on the board.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Torres submitted his resignation in an  open letter  to fellow board members.   He is the fifth member of the pension board to resign since July.  The other four resigned as lawsuits were being filed by City Attorney Michael Aguirre alleging conflict-of-interest charges and attempting to eliminate pension benefits he says are illegal.

Torres is one of the board members accused of padding their pensions by agreeing to renew the city’s underfunding practice in a criminal case.   Another suit named each of the pension system’s 13 board members, but Aguirre later agreed to drop them from the case and a judge has limited the scope of the suit.   The case accusing Torres and seven others of violations of the state’s Political Reform Act was dismissed three weeks ago (See  Judge Draws Line between Pension, Financial Interest in SDCERS Case ).

In his resignation letter, Torres said he did his job on the board “faithfully, with integrity, and to the best of my ability.”   He also said, “My family lost our home and everything we own in the Cedar fire…but the effects of that tragedy does not begin to compare to the adverse effect these unfounded criminal charges and relentless attacks have had on me and those I love.”