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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Liar Liar (Pants on Fire)

I've been reporting since last Thursday the discrepancies between what went on in the Courtroom and PERS' absolutely misleading and, perhaps, dishonest representation of it. This morning Greg Hartman issued a letter sent to all members of the PERS Coalition describing his concern for this situation. I repeat it here because it says what I've been saying in a much clearer way. Hartman's words follow in quotes.

"Attached is a copy of PERS's website posting which reports on the recent hearing with Judge Kantor. I am disappointed because the posting is so incomplete and one-sided that it paints an absolutely incorrect picture of what happened before Judge Kantor. Unfortunately many retirees [have] no other source of information and will find this posting to be very troubling. The PERS attorneys argued very vigorously that Judge Kantor's opinion was not broad enough to restrict their ability to continue to go through the Strunk/Eugene reconciliation process with the remaining 70% of retirees who have not, as yet, had their accounts adjusted. I don't think their argument was well received by Judge Kantor but he acknowledged that there was apparently some ambiguity about his prior order and promised that he would decide the specific issue of whether his decision permitted PERS to continue with the Strunk/Eugene reconciliation process. In addition the judge indicated that he would be deciding the Arken contract issue and if he decides that in favor of the window retirees, it should stop the reconciliation process in its tracks. Again I am disappointed that PERS has decided to post something so clearly biased.

As I said above, I know that many members will find this distressing and find it difficult to understand why this process can go forward despite Judge Kantor's previous opinion. PERS represented to Judge Kantor that for the vast majority of the people who are still subject to the reconciliation process, that process will most likely result in a small increase in their monthly benefit. In response to the judge's question PERS acknowledged that this will not be the increase which we would argue that they are entitled to, but nonetheless pointed out that a small increase is the most likely outcome of that process at this point. Please share this general information with your members in whatever format you think most acceptable as I would like to see some information that is more accurate disseminated to the retiree community."

For those of you who haven't read the PERS posting to which Mr. Hartman is referring, you can find it here.

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