Former SD Pension Officials Plead Not Guilty

February 2, 2006 ( - The five former officials of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS) and the system's former general counsel, who were indicted last month on fraud charges, all entered pleas of not guilty at their arraignment.

According to news reports, all six were released on $25,000 bond and ordered to come back to court on March 20.  They were indicted last month on a 20-count indictment (See  Five Indicted in San Diego City Pension Case ).

Cathy Lexin, former human resources director in the city manager’s office, and Teresa Webster, the city’s former acting auditor and comptroller, also requested court appointed attorneys during yesterday’s arraignment.   Earlier this week the SDCERS board refused to gain enough support to have the city pay attorney’s fees for former administrator Lawrence Grissom and former general counsel Loraine Chapin (See  Proposal to Pay Legal Fees for ex-SDCERS Officials Fails).

Lexin and Webster and four other former pension officials are also facing criminal conflict-of-interest charges (See  Six ex-SD pension Officials Bound Over for Trial ).