The City of Omaha is appealing a judge’s ruling that allowed the board overseeing Omaha’s police and fire pension fund to spend city funds on lawyers and consultants.
The board sued the city a year ago, arguing that ongoing struggles with underfunded pensions had made it necessary for it to get outside help. The city, meanwhile, said the board — made up of some city employees, members of the Police and Fire Departments and an attorney — should rely on an assistant city attorney.
The decision to sue was a split vote, with the city employees on the board opposed.
In September, Douglas County District Court Judge James Gleason ruled in favor of the board. In his decision, he noted that the board “has the discretion to hire outside consultants to the extent that such consultants are necessary for the board to effectively ‘formulate policy for’ ” and supervise the operation of the pension system.
Gleason said any such work should be considered an administrative expense covered by the city’s general fund.
The city appealed the decision this week to the Nebraska Court of Appeals. — Erin Golden