Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Judge says county pension data should be public

A Sacramento judge has ruled that a county retirement system cannot keep information about workers' pensions from the public — a ruling that could help reporters doing stories on rising pension costs.

CalPERS has already released pension data. A list of all retirees drawing more than $100,000 a year from CalPERS is already online.

But many public employees are covered by county-run pension systems, and Sacramento County's system steadfastly refused to provide data to the Sacramento Bee, claiming it was confidential.
The Bee reports that Judge Allen Sumner disagreed and ordered the county system to release the information.

"Sacramento County faces difficult budget decisions. Its reduction of critical services has generated significant public debate. The public has a strong interest in knowing how government is spending their money, and a constitutional right to such information," the judge's final order said.

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