San Diego Business Journal

San Diego mayoral candidate Jerry Sanders called on Mayor Dick Murphy to reappoint prominent whistle-blower Diann Shipione to the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System board.

In April, a new board convened without Shipione, who had informed the mayor and City Council this year of her desire to retain her seat. But she was not among those subsequently nominated by Murphy.

"Ms. Shipione's decision to expose the pension system's significant financial liability was the right course of action," said Sanders in a prepared statement Monday. "Ms. Shipione should never have been removed from the retirement board. The citizens of San Diego would be better served with her continued involvement."

Sanders also called on SDCERS to waive its attorney-client privilege so that federal investigations and the long-overdue audits of city finances can be completed.

A former San Diego police chief, Sanders also called for a rollback of pension benefits to ease the city's financial crunch, and pledged to forgo future pension benefits himself if he is elected mayor.

"I believe the next mayor needs to be able to address the pension crisis without the perception that there is a conflict of interest," he said.

On April 25, Murphy resigned from office, effective July 15.

The only other announced candidate for mayor is San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye, who ran as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 2 election. Although she received more votes, the registrar of voters disallowed them because an accompanying bubble was not properly filled in, as required by state law.

Pat Broderick