Southern California breaking news and trends

Richard Riordan: LA headed for disaster without pension reform (updated)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and business community leaders on Wednesday called for an overhaul of the city’s pension system that would include changes for current employees. 

Speaking before the Executive Employee Relations Committee, Riordan told Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and several city council members that basic services — such as the police department and sidewalk repair — could be decimated without significant reductions in what the city pays toward employees’ retirement. He and leaders from the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce want to see charter amendments on the ballot to change the city’s pension system.

The proposal would affect the pensions of current employees by capping their salaries, which determine retirement benefits.

Including current employees in pension reform would almost certainly be challenged in court. Voters in San Jose and San Diego recently approved pension reform for their employees. Immediately after the election, the City of San Jose asked a federal court for a prompt ruling on legal issues that may arise as a result of the vote. 


Former LA mayor backs Alan Jackson for district attorney

Alan Jackson

Courtesy of the Jackson campaign

Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson's campaign for district attorney was endorsed today by former Mayor Richard Riordan.

A deputy district attorney known for prosecuting the murder trial of music producer Phil Spector was endorsed today by former Mayor Richard Riordan in his bid to be the next district attorney.

It is a high-profile endorsement for Republican Alan Jackson. In the primary, Riordan threw his support behind Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. He finished third in the June primary. Jackson will face Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey in November’s nonpartisan runoff.

“Public safety has always been my top priority both as mayor of Los Angeles and as a private citizen,” Riordan said. “It is essential that our next district attorney be a top-notch courtroom prosecutor.”

District Attorney Steve Cooley has served since 2000. He declined to run for a fourth term.