News


Judge dismisses suit over Lehman losses

Local school districts lost about $4.6 million

A San Francisco judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by 12 San Mateo County school districts against the county seeking to recover about $20 million in losses due to the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer on Thursday affirmed a tentative ruling that the county and former treasurer-tax collector Lee Buffington were immune from civil suits.

The school districts — including Menlo Park City, Las Lomitas, Portola Valley, and Woodside — sued the county and now-retired treasurer Lee Buffington in January for actions that led to the schools' losses.

Tom Prountzos, an attorney for the school districts, said they plan to appeal.

Of the local school districts, Menlo Park City lost the most by far — about $4 million. The Las Lomitas district lost nearly $400,000; the Portola Valley district, almost $150,000; and the Woodside district, almost $100,000.

The county treasurer's office is in charge of funds that school districts are required to put in an investment pool. The lawsuit alleged the treasurer invested an "imprudent portion" of the funds in Lehman, and kept them there "after learning of deterioration in the finances, credit rating, and stock price of Lehman."

Overall, the Lehman bankruptcy led to $155 million in losses for the county and other agencies participating in the investment pool. But most of those agencies are not required to participate, unlike school districts. The treasurer's office charges "substantial fees" to manage the money, according to Anne Campbell, superintendent of the county Office of Education.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by 1 percent
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 13, 2011 at 9:08 am

One percenters win again!


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

The taxpayers are paying for this frivilous litigation. As of june 30, 2011 the County spent $615,492.70 for outside legal help to fend off the lawsuit by school districts. How much of the taxpayer's dollars did the districts spend?


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Who were the law firms hired by the County?


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

S.F. based Keker and Van Nest.


Like this comment
Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2011 at 5:41 am

Somehow, the figures do not add up.
This is frivolous and silly.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 7,635 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 15 comments | 2,518 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 2,468 views

Good News: The New Menlo Park Rail Subcommittee Hits A Home Run
By Dana Hendrickson | 12 comments | 1,643 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,050 views

 

Register today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More