The Press-Enterprise newspaper filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking the release of records of pensions exceeding $90,000 a year paid to former San Bernardino County employees.

The lawsuit, as reported by the Press-Enterprise on Wednesday, is against the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association.

The newspaper reports that the organization refused a request to release the information, a violation of the public records act, which calls for state or local agencies to promptly make available copies of any records not exempt from disclosure.

From the Press-Enterprise:

The association initially “denied in whole” a California Public Records Act request from the newspaper for the “names, monthly payment, annual payment, job title, government agency and department” of all individuals receiving at least $90,000 in annual retirement benefits from the association.

The association subsequently offered a partial response to the request. The newspaper rejected it as inadequate.

The Press-Enterprise stated that the retirement association claims the California’s County Employee Retirement Act of 1937, which says members’ records “shall be confidential and not disclosed to anyone.”

The following quote also come from the Press-Enterprise: “Given the extraordinary public interest in this information and given the incredible burden pensions are placing on local governments in California, such as in Bell, there is really just a tremendous interest in access to this public information,” said Alonzo Wickers IV, attorney for the newspaper.

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