Chairman’s Message

Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 at 12:00AM

LDF Chairman

     As chairman of your Legal Defense Fund, I am proud to announce that after a long 10 months, we have resolved the pending litigation with Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir (LDME). The resolution came after the investment of countless hours by LDF Trustees, LDF’s Trust Counsel, professional staff, and outside attorneys LDF had to hire to handle this matter.
     As you know, LDF initially filed a state court action seeking damages for overbilling by LDME. After further investigation, LDF also filed a federal court action alleging a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
     A settlement of these two lawsuits filed by LDF on behalf of its members was recently reached with all involved parties. As everyone is aware, LDF is an ERISA trust fund. Each of the Trustees is a fiduciary to the Fund and its members. We individually had, and continue to have, a responsibility to obtain the best settlement for the members. That is exactly what we did. The Trustees, with the advice and assistance of our attorneys, negotiated the best terms possible. To obtain this agreement, the exact terms of the settlement were required to be confidential, and we must keep it that way.
     It is worth noting that the entire professional staff, the Trust Counsel and our specialized legal team assembled for this litigation unanimously endorsed and recommended to the Trustees that we accept this settlement agreement with all terms as negotiated. With this recommendation, countless years of common sense and professional law enforcement background, the Trustees unanimously voted to accept this settlement.
    I would like to thank the Trustees for their diligence and effort put forward in the analysis of the materials and crafting the best resolution possible for the members. I would like to thank our professional staff, consisting of Ed Fishman, Russ Richeda, Rebecca Mann, Cindi Forbes and the Legal Defense Administrators staff, for their tireless efforts on behalf of the members. I would like to thank Mike Durant, Ron Cottingham and Bob Bonsall for their guidance and unwavering support from day one on this matter.I would also like to thank the PORAC Board of Directors, whom I briefed at the onset and who unanimously took a position of support after receiving the information.
     The Fund is stronger now than ever. We have over 102,000 members and more than $12 million to fund member benefits. That is more members participating and more money for member benefits than ever before! In the last year, we have seen a growth of over $4 million in the Fund. I hope and anticipate that this may translate into another decrease in rates, just as the Trustees decreased the base rate of Plan 1 this year.
     With this distraction in our rearview mirror, we can redouble our efforts to focus on member benefits, where our focus should always be.
     Stay safe and continue to look out for one another. 

PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.