Federal Judge Thelton Henderson in his chambers shortly before retiring. (Photo: Screen capture, Capitol Weekly)
As the judge climbed the watchtower stairs in Pelican Bay prison, he heard muffled gunshots below. When he reached the top, he looked into the prison yard and saw bodies lying in the dirt. One was his law clerk, spreadeagled on the ground in his suit, alongside dozens of inmates. Guards stood over them, guns aimed. “My clerk was thinking he’s gonna die and this is his last day on earth,” Judge Thelton Henderson recalled.
The question of whether pensions are “sustainable” may get an answer as a CalPERS board action last week ratchets up annual state and local pension costs during the next seven years.
A former CalPERS chief actuary, Ron Seeling, gave pension critics ammunition in 2009 when he said his personal view was that “without a