Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Attorney for Springfield Police Officers and Firefighters: Attempting to Influence Public Opinion?

In a move which might be perceived as an effort to influence public opinion regarding pension funding recommendations, even before the pension task force has begun deliberations as a Committee of the Whole, the police and fire associations' retained attorney addressed the public through a column to the local daily paper. In the column, the attorney issued a warning to the public.

The Springfield Police-Fire Pension Fund Citizens Task Force is scheduled to begin making team presentations during a Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday evening. Those team presentations will begin the task force's discussions, intended to narrow the options they might include as part of their eventual recommendations for addressing the underfunded police and fire pension fund.

Mayor Jim O'Neal has asked the task force to present more than one recommendation to be considered as a potential solution for the ailing pension plan.

Attorney Dan Tobben's letter, published as a "Voice of the Day" column in the "Springfield News-Leader" on Tuesday, warned:

"The task force or the council may ask you, the voters, to do a "hatchet job" on your police officers and firefighters and the benefits they have earned through "a vote of the people." This may itself be illegal and definitely will be challenged in court. ..."

Mr. Tobben is the head of litigation for the law firm Danna McKitrick, P.C.

On May 6, Tobben spoke to the pension task force (click the link <<< to watch). At that meeting, Tobben suggested, as a part of a worst case scenario, should the City not honor past promises made to employees of the police and fire departments, liquidation of the City's assets could occur, even including the sale of Springfield's Historic City Hall.

The entire meeting was a bit over 2 hours. You can move the video forward to watch Tobben or, watch the other presentations leading up to his remarks and the question and answer period that followed.

Source of link to task force video: Springfield Police-Fire Pension Fund Citizen's Task Force Web site



Anonymous said...

Did Mr. Tobbins firm actually file suit in St Louis or other Cities ?

Jackie Melton said...

Jackie Melton said...