Showing contempt for the public — if not also for the courts — retirement funds representing the city’s cops and firefighters are stonewalling a judicial order to make public the names of all their pensioners.
Almost five years ago, the Empire Center for Public Policy, a taxpayer watchdog, began battling for access to the identities of everyone on state or local pensions, along with the amount of their retirement payments.
In May, the state’s highest court ruled that the Freedom of Information Law mandates release of the data. Many pension systems complied. The fire unions, which hold most of the seats on the firefighters pension board, sued to keep the names secret.
The board kept the information private, as then did pension funds representing cops.
New Yorkers have a clear right to scrutinize pension payments, both to assess their size and look for instances of fraud.
The Empire Center is now seeking permission to oppose the fire unions’ legal action.
A judge must welcome the center into the case and throw the pension data onto the public record forthwith.