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Detroit Fires Pension Fund Lawyer after Scandal
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Detroit fires pension fund lawyer

Summary: Detroit fires lawyer Joseph Turner and his firm after scandal.

Detroit is attempting to make a clean sweep from the sort of corruption and incompetence that contributed to the city’s colossal bankruptcy. This may be part of their motivation for firing a lawyer connected to a bribery scandal that cost the city’s Police and Fire pension fund almost $100 million dollars. In a 9-7 vote, fire general counsel Joseph Turner, along with his law firm, Clark Hill, have been fired.

  
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“I respect their decision,” said Turner. “I don’t agree with it, but I respect it.”

The respect, apparently, holds little mutuality, for Vice Chairman Jeffrey Pegg, along with 8 trustees, voted against keeping him on, after a scandal in which Turner contributed cash at birthday parties in 2007 for Detroit Treasurer Jeffrey Beasley and trustees Stewart and Marty Bandemer, and himself receiving a pay raise in return.

Turner was never charged with a crime, but the stickiness of the issue left the board feeling ill towards him, and lead Detroit Police & Fire Retirement System Chairman Mark Diaz to say they want to “move in a new direction. The board needs to be progressive. We need to constantly seek the best representation in every way for our retirement system. That is our mission today and our mission going forward … I want the best representative for our retirement system. Period.”

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Such talk could be made by any Chairman on any board, but it holds the hidden sense that Clark Hill was not the best representative for their system, and glosses over why and how.

In any case, Clark Hill has received a 30-day contract termination notice, and in the meantime Detroit will be considering replacement firms to work with.



Clark Hill will nevertheless persist in representing the pension fund in a few further lawsuits coming up.

Newsource: detroitnews.com



 

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