Holding California County Pension Funds Accountable HOME    About    Contact    Newsletter
General for All Counties   Focus on Mendocino County  

Helping Citizens Understand

Old Mendocino County Courthouse Around 1915

California County Pension Debt


Stories & Evidence

MendoCERA Audited Financial Statements

Impossible and Deeply Flawed Financial Statements Part 2

Stories and Evidence

Choices -

Who Done It?

'98 Retiree Healthcare - '02 Board Policy 40 - Diversion of County Contributions - Part 1

'98 Retiree Healthcare - '02 Board Policy 40 - Diversion of County Contributions - Part 2

'98 Retiree Healthcare - '02 Board Policy 40 - Diversion of County Contributions - Part 3

San Diego - IRS - Excess Earnings

Increase Pensions When Already Deep in Debt

Staffing & Compensation Chaos

Deeply Flawed Pension Fund Financial Statements - Part 1

Deeply Flawed Pension Fund Financial Statements - Part 2

Deeply Flawed Pension Fund Financial Statements - Part 3

Retiree Healthcare

Assumed Investment Profits Too High

Plans to Increase Debt

County Puts Off Bad News

The Myth of 80% Funding

Numerous Financial Errors


March 18, 2009 - Meeting With Retirement Officials and Supervisors

Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen arranged a meeting with himself and Supervisor Kendall Smith (who was on the Retirement Board), MCERA Administrator Jim Andersen, Administrator and County Treasurer/Tax Collector Tim Knudsen, and me for 3/18/09. The purpose was to discuss several of the significant issues I had raised to that point including but not only my analysis of the Retirement Association's audited financial statements shown on the last page.

The understanding I had with Supervisor McCowen was I would send a memo to the other 4 laying out my data, analysis and conclusions about several issues - and the Retirement officials should do the same. The idea was that we should all have enough time before the meeting to examine each others data and analysis so that we could have a more informed and productive meeting.

I sent a memo - "Questions to Discuss in the 3/18/09 Meeting" (click to get a copy) to the two Supervisors and MendoCERA Administrators a week before the meeting. None of the other participants distributed a memo before the meeting.

One of the issues I laid out was the problems with MendoCERA's audited financial statements I describe on the last page.

Although this isn't the point of this current story six months earlier I published a report of my analysis of State Controller data that indicated Mendocino's Pension Fund had the lowest return on investment of all 21 County Pension funds in the State from 1996 through 2005.

The MendoCERA survey reported they achieved the 4th highest return among 19 County Pension Funds from 2004 through 2008. They said their survey proved "the assertion by Mr. Dickerson that the MCERA has the lowest return on investment is false".

That part of my report was attempting to explain why the County borrowed $92 million for unfunded pensions in 2002. Since MendoCERA looked at 2004 through 2008 their analysis couldn't shed any light on that issue. Further - they didn't look at 8 of my 10 years, and included three I didn't. Our data overlaped in only 2 of these 13 years, and the State Controller data and the data in MendoCERA's study for those two years was very similar.

Their study could not show my analysis was false because of the hugely different time frames.

The morning of our meeting MendoCERA released the results of a survey of other County Retirement Systems about returns on investment. Supervisor McCowen provided me with a copy an hour before the meeting. I barely had time to read it but was not able to analyze it before the meeting.

The first half or more of the meeting focused solely on MCERA's report. Then when I was finally able to get the group's focus on my memo, it quickly became apparent that Knudsen and Smith hadn't read my memo and Andersen said he'd just "skimmed it". None had spent one minute preparing to discuss it.

However, in our discussions for the next hour several important things emerged, although we weren't able to talk about most of the issues in my memo.

At one point we were talking about the impossible audited financial reports. I very clearly remember Knudsen said:

I never did understand why our auditor did it that way.

I don't have a recording - but that's very close to what he said (it may have been "... why our CPA did it that way.") and that's the meaning of what he said.

April 5, 2009 - My Article in the Ukiah Daily Journal

A couple of weeks later the Ukiah Daily Journal printed an article I wrote - "Retirement Fund Says 'Critic Off Base' But It Just Keeps Getting Worse" (click for a copy). I laid out why MendoCERA's survey couldn't possibly disprove the conclusions of my analysis of State Controller return on investment data.

But I also addressed the financial statement issue:

Five Years of Wildly Inaccurate Financial Statements

MCERA's financial statements from 1998 through 2002 show MCERA's Pension and Retiree Healthcare Funds separately. They're combined from 2003 on. But something's very wrong with the 1998-2002 statements.

For example, the Healthcare Fund started 1998 with $1.7 million in assets and made a $6.7 million investment profit. The Pension Fund started with $132 million and made a $6.2 million profit.

I asked "How did Healthcare earn 375% on beginning assets but the Pension Fund only 4.6%"? Knudsen said MCERA totals in those five years are correct, but many of the Pension and Healthcare Fund values are very wrong. He could not explain why.

 Valid XHTML 1.0! Home  Pension Basics  Reporting Fraud  21 County Funds  Mendo Debt  Debt Impact  Immediate Causes  Stories & Evidence  Basic Causes  Official Denial  Archives-Articles 
Contact Us

© 2008 - 2017 YourPublicMoney.Com
PO Box 301, Redwood Valley, CA 95470
Click to Send Email