HUNTINGTON BEACH : New Group to Target City Pension Spiking

Opposition to pension spiking by city employees has led to the formation of a new citizens' group.

Bill Mello, a retired mechanical engineer who is spearheading the new organization, announced that the group is calling itself the Citizens Bureau of Investigation. He said about 25 Huntington Beach residents currently are members.

"Our main thrust right now is the spiking scandal," Mello said. He added that in the future, the group will investigate suspected wastes of money by city government.

Spiking involves government employees who artificially increase their pensions by converting unused vacation days into a final-year salary. Mello's group claims that 153 current city employees are scheduled to benefit from pension spiking, and he has criticized City Atty. Gail Hutton for not making their names public. Hutton's office has said the names should not be made public because of privacy rights of the employees.

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