April 28, 2011 Update

1. Attorneys for the defendants PERA and the State of Colorado have demanded disclosure of all of Save PERA COLA’s documents and emails, such that we would have to basically disclose our contacts (i.e., you), emails between you and Save PERA COLA and/or plaintiffs, and donations to SPC you may have made. We have filed a brief to oppose the motion. At this time we have not disclosed, but may be
forced to do so by the court. We have already disclosed the amount of $25,000
that SPC has sent to our attorneys’ escrow account and the basic existence of
our semi-contingency funding agreement between the named plaintiffs and Stember
Feinstein Doyle & Payne, LLC. For more information, read the briefs. Find them by clicking on the Court Filings and Resources tab above.

2. Briefs and counterbriefs from both parties have been filed for Motions for Summary Judgment. These make for quite interesting reading as the legal arguments and relevant court cases are listed and the logic from them is explained in detail. Notably, the Defendants now claim that a Colorado Supreme Court case re Estate of DeWitt, 54 P.3d 849, 853 (Colo. 2002) applies in this case and they chide
the Plaintiffs’ attorneys for their ignorance of it. In Plaintiffs’ reply our attorneys explain why it does not apply. Defendants’ attorneys provide a long summary of COLA changes and a detailed history of the preparation for Senate Bill 10-001, as well as their explanation of PERA’s “actuarial necessity” claim, which was never defined in the law or declared by the legislature.

3. The Second Amended Class Action Complaint filed February 23 lists two new named plaintiffs John C. Fisher and Robert P. Laird, Jr., replacing Kathleen Hopkins, who chose to withdraw, and Lisa Silva-Derou, who was found to not have been eligible to represent the class. Defendants’ names are updated to reflect changes in elected positions in the state and in PERA. The document provides a clear statement of the constitutional issues being used in the challenge to Senate Bill 10-001 by plaintiffs.

4. On March 10, 2011 District Judge Robert S. Hyatt issued a Modified Case Management Order that includes: a trial date of February 6, 2012 for 3 weeks; disclosures occurring through fall of 2011; that the Motion for Class Certification schedule is as follows: a) class discovery occurring now and complete by June 28; b)
Defendants’ opposition due by July 29; c) Plaintiffs’ reply due by August 19.

5. There is an interesting summary of the lawsuit effort from the Friends of PERA website. It’s given from the perspective of one of PERA’s senior staff attorneys Adam
Franklin. Comments were made at the FoP General Meeting, on April 5: Click here to read the report (or paste in the URL box) http://www.friendsofpera.com/0405meeting.pdf.

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13 Responses to April 28, 2011 Update

  1. DisappointedRetiree says:

    I am disappointed in PERA and half expected this. I foresee in the future that retirees supporting Save PERA Cola may be back in court for harassment by PERA counselors “verifying” our retirement amounts. Please keep us in mind when the new court date comes up. And why not get all the info from PERA concerning the actuarial adjustment re:funding for PERA, info on retirees, personal info on PERA employees and PERA hired help/state help on all related to this issue. They are asking for personal information and home info-let them lead and post theirs-whether or not the persons previously involved are currently retired now or not. Give them my address- they’ll recognize the name!

  2. ParkerPera says:

    I do not see the plaintiffs reply to DeWitt in Item #2 in the briefs or counterbriefs. Is it posted?

    Also, is there any expected time frame on the Summary of Judgement ruling? That will be a news item, especially if we prevail.

  3. Thomas Thielemier says:

    Tks for the update. Before I retired I met with a counselor at PERA’s offices and it was made very clear to me that my retirement was set by the Colorado Revised Statutes in effect at the time of my retirement. I am sure the counselor will remember me and her statement represents PERA’s santcioned position at the time. So, in addition to the Attorney General Salazar’s review of retirement benefits,the Colorado Revised Statutes, the PERA Retirees Handbook in effect at the time of my retiremtent and the the additional step of meeting with a PERA staff member I took every step to assure that the retirement contract was solid and I could depend on the benefits for the future. I then willingly authorized PERA to take my money in return for a lifetime annuity. (This same step is taken by every retiree. Consequently, money was given for a stated benefit—the definition of an enforceable contract.) Like every other retiree, I could have taken my considerable amount of retirement fund and invested on my own. So going forward, PERA needs to return to the retirees the benefits owed to retirees and address the real problem of changing the pension plan from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan. This is exactly what has happened to most private pension plans and is certaintly good enough for all state employees.

  4. Bruce Badger says:

    Thanks for the information regarding our case. PERA and the State Legislature cannot be allowed to circumvent legal contract law. They could have asked retirees for voluntary contributions but instead took the path of usurping the law to take a piece of our promised retirement. A very foolish move on their part. Keep up the good work SPC. You have my permission to provide them with my email. I have no problem leting them know of my disappointment in their action and my willingness to take them to court if necessary.

  5. Yes, please disclose all communications. Thank you for keeping us updated.

    Zelma T. Kolch

  6. R.L. Keller says:

    Please give PERA all the information they’ll need to send me a check for the loss I incurred as a result of their violating our contract. They’re going to owe all of us after they lose in court. Plus interest.

  7. Donald R. Steele says:

    Add my name to the donors and let PERA and the state officials know they are welcome to call me anytime!!! Keep up the Good Work!!

  8. John R Makar says:

    I here-in gladly add my name and email information and ask it be noted that I have previously contributed to this very legal, moral, and necessary effort.

    Their action smacks of desperation, and only serves to further emphasize the gap between their claims and their actions.

    It makes me more convinced that PERA and the state know that they are going to lose, and have known that all along.

  9. Brad Moore says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated and keep up the good work! SPC certainly has my permission to disclose any and all communications between SPC and me to meet any necessary court order.

  10. John Kiljan says:

    Thanks for the useful update.

    Is there any hope that we can subpoena the State and PERA for the same information in the six document requests that they made of us? Tit for tat?

    The e-mailing list for PERA retirees will be especially useful when we see the next round of legislation to “save PERA” coming from the General Assembly.

    For readers, the give-us-everything-you’ve-got document requests are listed on page seven of the subpoena found at this link:

    https://saveperacola.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/2011-02-25-subpoena-duces-tecum-to-saveperacola.pdf

    –John Kiljan

  11. Tim V says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated!

  12. Brett Clark says:

    Keep up the good work!

  13. Frank and Carol Krutzke says:

    re: disclosure

    It is a shame that this is happening, but to be expected.

    SPC hereby has permission to disclose any and all communications between SPC and ourselves to meet any necessary court order to do so.

    Frank T. Krutzke
    Carol B. Krutzke

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