In September 2013, after receiving the findings from our retained certified fraud examiner, the Trustees of the PORAC Legal Defense Fund removed the law firm of Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir (LDME) as an approved provider of legal services for our members.
The Trustees did not come to this conclusion without thoughtful deliberation and careful consideration of the wide-ranging ramifications of such a significant decision. Further, the Trustees appreciate that regardless of what each member personally feels about this decision, they desire more detailed information regarding how and why we decided to terminate the relationship between LDF and LDME.
LDF members are in law enforcement or other forms of public safety positions. With that background and experience, I hope that everyone can understand and appreciate that when a very serious investigation is pending — with potential administrative, civil and criminal ramifications — we would not want to jeopardize that investigation or influence the results. We need to act responsibly and prudently, to ensure that the Fund and the individual members’ claims, rights and interests are protected.
While keeping that main goal in mind, I can advise you of the following:
- The Fund has filed a complaint with the State Bar of California.
- The Fund has also engaged a civil law firm to explore recovery of the financial loss to the Trust.
- The Trustees are working closely with the appropriate law enforcement officials who have jurisdiction over this matter. A criminal investigation is underway.
I have been in close communication with PORAC leadership throughout this process, and they have graciously provided both time and a forum to the LDF Trustees, staff and retained experts to present more details and information to our members at the PORAC Conference in November at L.A. Live. I look forward to allowing members access to additional information that we are able to disclose responsibly, while again also ensuring that the other considerations of preservation of potential administrative, civil and criminal claims, and protection of our members’ rights and interests, are met.
While it is my personal preference — and I am quite certain all of the Trustees would concur — to provide a thorough, detailed, immediate release of all documents and information regarding this matter and how we reached the decision to remove LDME from the LDF attorney panel, at this point we are still evaluating what we are able to provide. Prior to the PORAC Conference in November, the Trustees will be able to determine the greatest amount of information that can be released, without jeopardizing our opportunity to either recover losses or hold accountable those who are responsible.
Please also keep in mind during this challenging time that you entrusted the elected LDF Trustees to protect and preserve the Fund, and we take that role very seriously. We will steadfastly work to preserve the integrity and strength of the Fund, for the benefit of all of our members.