ATLANTA -- Channel 2 Action News has learned that the city of Atlanta cannot find several documents that are critical to the city’s pension fund.
The documents, or lack thereof, are the subject of an ongoing lawsuit by a taxpayers group.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is proposing major changes in the city's three pension funds -- for police, firefighters and general employees.
The city approved generous increases for all three funds in 2001 and 2005, but most of the documents that were legally required before those changes could be approved -- are now nowhere to be found.
Channel 2's Richard Belcher learned that 75 percent of the critical records are missing.
The Atlanta City Council approved pension increases for police and firefighters in 2001.
Before the council can approve such changes, members are required to have an actuarial study of the projected effects on city finances; a letter from the city's chief financial officer and a letter from the city attorney.
Belcher asked City Hall for all the pertinent records under the state open records act.
He received two letters and the actuarial study for the 2005 change in the general employee’s pension fund, but what not the same records for the 2005 firefighter increase and the 2001 police and firefighter changes.
The mayor's office said the documents can't be found.
“We're already paying for something, and it would be very important to know whether or not it was legally approved,” said Georgia State University professor Mike Bell. Bell also served as DeKalb County's chief financial officer for 15 years.
Bell is also on the board of the Fulton County taxpayer’s foundation, which is suing the city.
The foundation contends that the pension increases signed by mayors Bill Campbell and Shirley Franklin were illegal because the City Council hadn't seen the required documents.
“We really need to know what was in front of the council when they voted on it in terms of the required legal documentation,” Bell said.
Rants and raves. Everyone's got a bone to pick!
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