Pension Initiative Facing Legal Challenge

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The proposed initiative to scrap the city of Tucson's pension program is facing a legal challenge.

Attorney Roopali H. Desai of Phoenix-based Coppersmith Schermer & Brockelman filed the lawsuit on Monday, July 22. The suit alleges that many of the signatures on the initiatives should be invalidated for various technical reasons, including 6,713 signatures that attorneys allege were collected by people with criminal records whose civil rights have not been restored.

City officials have warned that the initiative could cost the city millions of dollars if it passes.

Pete Zimmerman, the political consultant for the Committee for Sustainable Retirement campaign, said in an email:

This is clearly an effort to obfuscate the issue. The petition effort was carefully conducted and the offices of the City Clerk and County Recorder rigorously examined the signatures, ultimately concluding that the submittal exceeded the minimum requirements by more than 40%. The 23,000 people who signed the petition deserve to see this issue on the November ballot. Let the voters decide.

Desai did not return a phone call this afternoon.

A court date has been set for Friday, Aug. 2.

This post has been updated to include Pete Zimmerman's comment.

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