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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For Whom The Bell Tolls

In a surprise ruling, Judge Kantor issued his opinion in the White case on June 11. Judge Kantor ruled against the PERS Coalition on ALL counts - no breach of fiduciary duty, no improper allocation of funds to various reserves, no failure to consult Coalition before settling the City of Eugene. This comes from the OPRI website and thusfar no copies of the legal ruling have been posted anywhere.

It is clear that the PERS Coalition plans to appeal these cases to the Oregon Court of Appeals, and the delay at that level on Arken and Robinson may well be so that White can join them on appeal. I have no doubt that these three cases will become joined at some point and will be ruled on in a single swoop by the Oregon Supreme Court.

The central issue the courts will have to work out is whether there exists any longer a fiduciary duty to members, or whether the settlement of the City of Eugene case coupled with the Legislative reforms of 2003 more or less abolished that responsibility and leaves PERS members and retirees in the uneviable position of have their money held in trust by trustees who no longer owe them their undivided fiduciary responsibility. This is a truly scary consideration and I hope the higher courts will recognize this responsibility and restore the burden to PERS and its Board.

4 comments:

MollyNCharlie said...

While it is only a small favor, I am glad that Judge Kantor move White along with blazing speed following the hearing. I do *not* agree with his ruling, I really think he missed the point. After all, if PERS members can not rely on the PERB to protect their retirement, then we are all held hostage to their actions as we are required to participate as a condition of our jobs. But today, as I often do, I am holding on to the memory of the federal retirees in the Vogl case that lost all the way to the final ruling, where they won everything. Oregon Revenue ended up having to repay them 10 years of taxes the SC said they in fact did not have to pay. I think our cause is just and I hold on to hope.
peg

William said...

I agree with Peg. Our cause is just and if there is justice in the system we will win in the end. I am disappointed though that this has gone on so long.

Bill

TruthSeeker said...

Judge Kantor was certainly a disappointment on almost all counts.

mrfearless47 said...

Judge Kantor, in my opinion, did us no favors whatsoever. In effect, knowing that these cases would be ruled on by the Oregon Supreme Court punted on making any informed decisions. Even the Robinson verdict, while favorable to members and retirees, is poorly developed. Judge Kantor is clearly not under consideration for any of the higher courts where intellect is required. He demonstrated in all three cases that he is not a legal scholar, that he's barely a yeoman at the law. God help us if he ever decides to push for the Oregon Court of Appeals. *THAT* is a truly scary proposition.

As much as I disliked his findings, David Brewer came across as intelligent, interested, fully informed and capable of understanding subtle arguments. Kantor couldn't understand a subtle argument if it bit him on his tailbone.