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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
For Whom The Bell Tolls
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.