It’s long past time for the Nevada Supreme Court to send a clear message to the folks running the state public pension system.
Last week, attorneys for the Public Employee Retirement System announced they will appeal a District Court ruling that brushed aside the agency’s effort to withhold information from the taxpayers who support the pension fund. It’s just the latest gambit in the system’s six-year effort to delay, impede and obfuscate when it comes to lawful court orders.
On at least four occasions, agency arguments that retiree pension payouts should be confidential have failed in court. Yet rather than comply by making the data public, those who run the system continue to make matters worse by wasting taxpayer resources in an attempt to keep in the dark those very same taxpayers.
Such imperial hubris is an embarrassing affront to the concepts of transparency and accountability.
The latest delaying tactic is in response to a decision last month ordering PERS to comply with the state’s public records statute and provide details on pension recipients requested by a Las Vegas think tank. Instead, the seven-member agency board on Monday directed its attorneys to again fight on to the state high court, which already ruled against the system in 2013.
The justices should waste little time rebuffing this frivolous appeal. And to stop this arrogant charade dead in its tracks, they should impose financial penalties and even contempt charges on PERS board members. Anything less at this point would only reward their inexcusable intransigence.