La Jollan resigns post as head of city pension system to take new post


The administrator and chief executive officer for the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System announced today that he is resigning, effective Nov. 30.

David Wescoe, a La Jollan who has headed SDCERS since 2006, is leaving to take a job as executive administrative director of the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans, which is based in Studio City.

In his resignation letter, Wescoe said he joined SDCERS to help restore the retirement system’s “operational integrity.”

“Because that task is largely done, I think now is an appropriate time for me to return to the private sector,” Wescoe wrote.

Wescoe joined SDCERS two years after it was revealed that increased retirement benefits granted in exchange for smaller city contributions into the pension system had saddled San Diego’s retirement system with a $1 billion deficit.

The revelation resulted in the indictment of several former SDCERS board members and sparked an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the city’s failure to properly disclose the scope of the deficit.

More recently, SDCERS has been hit with mounting investment losses due to the recession.

Wescoe said he is proud of the changes made under his tenure to correct

the shortcomings.

“In the last few years, no organization has faced more difficult challenges, and no organization has accomplished more than SDCERS,” Wescoe said in his retirement letter.

“We have assessed the organization’s shortcomings, corrected past mistakes and put a firm foundation in place so that those mistakes can never be repeated,” he wrote.

Mark Sullivan, president of the SDCERS board, said Wescoe joined SDCERS at the “most contentious time in the organization’s history.”’

“He stepped into a hornet’s nest and systematically brought stability to this organization,” Sullivan said. “He has done what many thought was impossible.”

SDCERS didn’t immediately disclose plans to find a replacement for Wescoe.