Normally when you see a word like “unnecessary” in a headline, the author is editorializing. In this case, I am simply reflecting the stated opinion of the Courts.

In San Diego, a former union boss has received a $700,000 settlement for her lost pension. Her ‘lost’ pension was one that, according to several court opinions and the IRS, should never have been awarded in the first place.

Judy Italiano had worked for the city of San Diego for nine years as a typist earning $19,000 per year, and she’d been the head of a union for 22 years, earning up to $114,000 per year. She claims to have been promised the right to combine years of service as the head of the union with her years as a typist for pension purposes.

She thought she was going to receive $7,200 per month for life. Instead, she was receiving a pension of $5,700 per year.

The court said this was the proper pension payment. But before it could rule, the pension board struck the settlement with Italiano. 

From the Union-Tribune:

The San Diego city retirement board has awarded a $700,000 settlement to former labor leader Judie Italiano despite a judge’s ruling that she isn’t owed anything beyond her $5,700-a-year pension.

The settlement was approved by Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman because he had no choice once the parties agreed. He expressed concerns, however, that it was “clearly not legally necessary” given his previous decision against Italiano. The City Attorney’s Office also argued the deal wasn’t reached in good faith.

Italiano, former president of the city’s union representing white-collar workers, had been battling with the city and its pension system to restore the annual $86,000 pension she lost in 2007 after theInternal Revenue Service deemed it invalid.

Read the full article here.