Fayette County

Lexington appeals multi-million-dollar pension suit to state Supreme Court

The city of Lexington will appeal a lower court’s ruling that the city owes millions of dollars to the police and fire pension fund.

A three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled in November that Lexington might have to pay millions more into its police and fire pension fund.

The unanimous decision reversed an earlier Fayette Circuit Court ruling. Earlier this month, the full Court of Appeals denied the city’s request to rehear the case.

Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for the city, said this week that the city will appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

At issue is whether a 2013 agreement between the city and police and firefighters to shore up the unfunded pension system meant the city had to contribute its 2011 payment into the fund. The 2013 agreement outlined several changes to how the system was funded and the city’s payments into it. Lexington attorneys argue that the 2013 agreement covered all previous city contributions, including the 2011 payment.

Tommy Puckett and Mario Russo, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of police and firefighters, have argued that the 2013 agreement didn’t cover the city’s 2011 payment into the fund. The city had estimated that payment at $16 million. A forensic accountant hired by police and fire estimated the payment at $19 million.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall