Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What do Two former Santa Barbara Supervisors, past and current Santa Barbara Superior Court Judges and Two current Candidates for the California State Senate all have in Common?

While preparing for your visit Bill ( did some additional research on our Superior Court and its Judges, what I found is nothing short of amazing. First I need to share a few facts about the Santa Barbara County Employees Pension System (SBCERS) and what I was able to discover.
 My research shows that in 97 the Santa Barbara County Employees Pension System (SBCERS) values and funded levels had been retroactively reduced when compared to 1996. I uncovered this by comparing what had been previously reported to the State Controllers Office and the Bond Market on Wall Street. The years affected cover 1986-1996 and can be verified by comparing the County’s 2009 Employer-Employee Cost History against the archived pension audits I purchased from the California State Controllers Office.
 I want to start this posting by looking at Mike Stoker who served as a Board of Supervisor for Santa Barbara County from 1986 through 1992. Then in 1994 California Secretary of State Bill Jones named Stoker Deputy Secretary of State where he served until January 2003 .Currently he is running against Hannah Beth Jackson for a seat on the California Senate. According to former Supervisor Mike Stoker, the deal public employees are getting (Pension) far exceeds the rest of the workforce, and it’s time for the county Board of Supervisors to level the playing field.
 Mr. Stoker is far too modest because when he took his seat as a County Supervisor in 1986 the SBCERS pension was just fine and 102% funded. Someone should make Mr. Stoker aware that the original 1986 value of 102% has since been changed and is now being reported as only 67%.  
 As for Hannah Beth Jackson the other local candidate for the State Senate she just happens to be married to Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge George Eskin. That’s right the very same Judge who was one of two 2003 gubernatorial appointees who broke the law by failing to put himself on the 2004 June primary and win his first full 6 year term. So I ask is the wife of a Judge who has committed a crime under the color of law really our best answer for the State Senate?
 Current Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Arthur Garcia is the other 2003 gubernatorial appointees who also failed to place himself on the 2004 June primary. When both Eskin and Garcia failed to retain their seats through election in 2004 and continued to occupy the bench. They both committed a crime under the color of law. In order for unlawful acts by any official to be done under "color of any law," the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, Judges, Mayors and Council persons, Law Enforcement, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs.
 Next we have Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Timothy J. StaffelWho in 1992 was elected as Fourth District county Supervisor and represented the Santa Maria and Lompoc Valleys from 1993-1998. In June 1998, Governor Wilson then appointed him to the Santa Barbara County Superior Court. As I have already mentioned I uncovered conflicting values for the Santa Barbara County Employees Pension System (SBCERS) pension while he was a seating Supervisor. All I can say about his service is how can Superior Court Judge Staffel be oblivious to the fact that the pensions value and funded history had been retroactively altered on his watch. How can the public be sure his practice on the bench is any better?
 Now we get to Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge James Herman who was appointed to the bench by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in May 2005.and ran for election to his first full term in 2006 as per the States Constitution. Judge Herman’s wife Denise de Bellefeuille also happens to be a current Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge.
 The Santa Barbara bench is a relatively small one having any where from 19 to 21 seats. In order for Judge Eskin and Judge Garcia to get away with the crime of not seeking election in 2004, it required the approval of Judge Herman who did run his wife Judge de Bellefeuille and the rest of the seating Superior Court Judges. It also appears Senate candidate Mike Stoker is just fine blaming the American worker for our alleged pension woes. Don’t forget that Judge Staffel was present as a supervisor while pension fraud was being committed against the Counties residents and workers.
 In closing Bill I will have my data separated by issue and not by participant but I just felt the connections between corruption and those who seem to be involved are just to closely connected and need to be ousted.
 Larry Mendoza 

Below was my first attempt at tonight's posting
I just wanted to send you a quick hello, and ask if you already know where we will be filming at. I have been preparing for your visit by checking my facts and getting all my documentation in order. You will of course be having some Tri Tip BBQ while you visit Santa Barbara. Because you have been inundated with so much data while filming, I will try to keep this simple. All month I have been preparing for our meeting double checking my data and reassembling my documentation. –

Bill I have uncovered archived audits from the California State Controllers Office from 1996 and 1997 that report conflicting values for the Santa Barbara County Employees Pension System (SBCERS) pension. I have all the data required to substantiate these claims but let me give you the simple example.

Initially both the California State Controllers records and Wall Streets bond market showed that Santa Barbara County reported the pension was 102% funded with a value of over 225 million dollars. In 1996  the Controllers records reported the pensions actuarial value of assets was 587 million dollars and 92% funded.Below is a copy of the 1991 Controllers Audit that shows that the County had in fact reported the pension to be 102% funded on 12/31/86. This report also shows that as of 12/31/90 the pension was 89.2% funded.

This Document shows a fully funded pension in 1986.

This document taken from a 1992 Bond offering by Santa Barbara County also shows that the SBCERS pension was indeed 102% funded, that is until someone devalued the pension in 1997 . 

However in the 2009 County Employer-Employee Cost History all the funded values and funded levels had been retroactively devalued. Look under the sixth column from the left titled funded ratios on the cost sheet and you can see that now it reports that the pension was only funded 67% on 12/31/86. I have records that show originally the County reported that in 1988 the fund was 91%, 90 it was 83. %, in 92 88.6%, in 94 88.1% and finally 1995 was 92%. The cost history sheet from 2009 on the other hand shows 1988 was 67.2% funded, 90 was 61.4%, 92 was 81.7%, 94 was 87.5% and 95 was 87.8% funded.

So let me ask you all a simple question, if I started with a 102.% funded pension in 1986, do you think it would earn more than if I had started with just a 67%? Well some how just the opposite is true with the SBCERS Pension.

I have just a few more important points to share with you that I hope shocks you.
The 1998 Controllers Audit above reports the  funded levels for 1990 and 1992 match the cost history sheet from above. But go to the top left side of this document and look under “Statement of Plan Net Assets as of June 30th 1998” and it reports the assets to be over 1 Billion dollars.

Now look under “Summary of Funding Position” on the lower half of the page, were it shows the “Actuarial Value of Assets” to be almost 800,000 dollars as of 12/3198. How is it the pension was 25% greater net total net value in June, yet in December its Actuarial was only 800,000?

Also when I looked at one year earlier the “Statement of Plan Net Assets as of June 30th 1997” reports the assets to be over 888,876,118. The “Summary of Funding Position” again on the lower half of the document, shows the “Actuarial Value of Assets” to only be 693,399,597 on 12/3197. Once again the pension had a 25% greater net value in June than in what Decembers Actuarial showed.

S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!

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