St. Louis Firefighters Vote to Hire Lawyer Regarding Mayor's Pension Bills
Five trustees voted to hire a lawyer to potentially sue the city if one of Mayor Francis Slay's pension overhaul bills to control and reduce pensions goes into effect.
If St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay gets his way with firefighters’ pensions, city firefighters are prepared to sue the city, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The same day a committee passed the mayor's proposal to take control of the firefighters’ retirement system, five trustees on the eight-member board for the Firemen's Retirement System of St. Louis (including Fire Chief Chief Dennis Jenkerson) voted to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit against the city if either of Slay’s pension overhaul bills go into effect.
Slay is not only seeking control of firefighters' pension fund but also wants to reduce their benefits -- a move that critics say he doesn’t have the right to make since a state law hasn’t allowed it and the state constitution outlaws changing current employees’ benefits, according to the Post-Dispatch.
The mayor, however, disagrees.
"I am not looking forward to a lawsuit, but you should know that we have done our legal homework," states the mayor's blog. "We have thought this through very carefully. And, we have retained one of the best law firms in the City to fight to protect your money, if it comes to that."
The Post-Dispatch reports that the board voted without the presence of the mayor’s two appointees, Public Safety Director Eddie Roth and Jim Sondermann, who showed up late to the meeting.