Judge hears arguments in PERA appeal request

April 1, 2014 Updated: April 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm

A judge will decide by April 11 whether to approve Colorado Springs' request for an appeal in its high-stakes dispute with the Public Employees' Retirement Association.

Harlan Bockman, a retired Adams County judge hired to oversee the case, heard arguments by lawyers from both sides Tuesday regarding the city's push to repeal his February ruling, which sided with PERA. He also could set a trial date, one that would help settle the amount owed to PERA, and he could widen the scope of the appeal before sending it to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

The judge found in February that Colorado Springs ignored the proper procedure for removing about 4,000 Memorial Hospital employees from the pension fund - most importantly, by not paying any liabilities before doing so.

Colorado Springs later filed an interlocutory appeal - a unique legal decision used when cases have yet to reach a final decision.

Lawyers for the pension fund are seeking $190 million plus interest, which reached $15 million in late October - a figure that continues to grow. Bockman has yet to rule on how much the city owes PERA.

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