Nov 6, 2009—In a case filed by the First Amendment Coalition, the Modesto Bee and the California Newspaper Publishers Association, a California Superior Court has ruled that county governments, upon request, must disclose–by name–their retirees’ pension payments.
The Superior Court for Stanislaus County reasoned that the public interest in access to government employees’ pensions outweighs the public interest in protecting the confidentiality of that information.
In 2007 the California Supreme Court ruled that government employees’ salaries–including employee names–are public records that must be disclosed under the Public Records Act. Since then, governments have split on the issue of access to the pensions of government retirees. Yesterday’s Superior Court decision is the result of litigation undertaken to clarify that pension information must be made public.
To access a copy of the Superior Court’s decision in Modesto Bee v. Stanislaus County Employees’ Retirement Association, go here. FAC and the other petitioners are represented by Karl Olson of Ram & Olson in San Francisco. (Olson is also on FAC’s Board of Directors.)