After being caught red-handed, former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis held a meeting with reporters to say she will not accept a salary if elected to the Board of Supervisors.
Her pledge came after the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that she hired lawyers to lobby pension officials to keep receiving her $268,800 annual pension should she be elected to the board in June.
Dumanis, 66, who retired as San Diego County district attorney in July collects an annual pension of $268,800.
The report relied on 80-plus pages of exchanges between pension officials and Dumanis’ lawyers throughout last year. None of the records stated that the candidate was seeking to avoid collecting a county salary and pension at the same time — a practice long criticized as “double-dipping.”
In fact, the county records repeatedly refer to the salary that Dumanis would be expected to receive.
Records show Dumanis first contacted pension officials early last year, asking how she could preserve her retirement benefits if she won a seat on the Board of Supervisors.
Pension lawyers responded that the practice was not legal, and if she were elected she would have to be reinstated into the county pension system and her monthly retirement checks would stop for as long as she served.
After Gov. Jerry Brown in September signed legislation that permitted Dumanis and others to collect a salary and pension concurrently, Dumanis’ lawyers contacted pension officials to alert them to the change in law. The retirement system wrote back agreeing that Dumanis could now receive both payments.
“That is good news for our client,” Dumanis attorney Marissa Morimoto replied in an October email. “Thank you for letting us know.”
Dumanis tried to pull a fast one, and she got caught. It’s all we need to know about her honesty….or rather lack of it.