In a huge win for the public, a California Appellate Court ruled this week that all public pension data regarding the amount received by each former public employee is public information and must be given to the press. This particular case dealt with attempts by the Sacramento Bee to obtain pension information for Sacramento public employees had opposed the release of the data making the spurious argument that the law forbade the County from divulging “personal retirement records of individual employees.” Thankfully the Court saw through this contrivance and found that the “personal retirement records” exception applied to truly personal information such as the person’s social security number and similar information and not the amount that they will suck from the public trough.
The win is especially important given that similar case are pending in several counties of California. This case should set significant precedent which would only be challenged if another similar case is argued to the California Supreme Court.
The tactics of the public unions are simply amazing as they try to hide their greed from public scrutiny. They want to cut huge deals but to hide them from public scrutiny. A decade ago the press began blowing the whistle on exploding public salaries draining the public coffers. Public agencies recognized this scrutiny and started playing hid the ball by giving more reasonable raises but pumping up pensions to unconscionable levels. This case will hopefully flood light on this selfish strategy.