Reply to Pension Attorney R. Cohen from Attorney Wayne Thomas IP: 184.108.40.206 Posted on November 16, 2011 at 08:40:56 PM by Dennis Ribaya
16 November 2011
To All Retirees: I am posting Attorney Wayne Thomas's email reply to Pension Attorney Ronald Cohen for your perusal.
Via E-Mail and U.S. Mail
Ronald J. Cohen. Esquire
Ronald J. Cohen, P.A.
8100 Oak Lane, Suite 403
Miami Lakes, Florida 33016
Re: John N. Parker vs., The Board of Trustees of the City Pension
Fund for Firefighters and Police Officers' in the City of Tampa
Case No. 07-CA-007198, Division L
Dear Mr. Cohen:
I have a copy of your letter dated November 10, 2011 to the Chairman and Members of
the Board of Trustees of the City Pension Fund for Firefighters and Police Officers in the City of
I strongly disagree with your conclusions in that letter. The Board has no authority to invade the custodial account established at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) as a part of the Settlement Agreement approved by the Court in the above referenced matter. The funds in that account are in custodia legis until the Settlement Agreement becomes final. That Settlement
Agreement, by its terms (inserted at your specific request), is not final until after the conclusion
of all appeals, including a resolution of the "attorney's (sic) fees issues." See Section 1.8 of theSettlement Agreement.
As you know, since the Board is appealing the Court's ruling that it is obligated to pay attorney's fees in this case, a potential issue, inter alia, remains regarding allocation of responsibility for payment of those fees between class members and the opt-outs, should you prevail on your position that fees must be paid from the Common Fund.
Since it is the Board that delayed the finality of the Settlement Agreement by its appeal,and since that appeal will certainly impact the issue of who will be responsible for payment of attorney's fees, any attempt by the Board to deplete the funds available for such payment violates the Settlement Agreement and interferes with the court's jurisdiction over the Common Fund.Under such circumstances, the Board's raiding of this custodial account to pay monies, which
you yourself have advised the Board "there is no legal requirement at this time that you pay," will constitute an act of contempt of Court, violation of the Settlement Agreement and a conversion of any funds transferred.
Moreover, such a discriminatory payment between two groups of identical beneficiaries may well jeopardize your Plan's qualification.
Such an action on the Board's part would be met with the strongest possible response.
Very truly yours,
Wayne Lee Thomas
Attorney for John N. Parker, for himself and all
others similarly situated.
cc Patrick H. Gonyea, Esquire (via email and U.S. Mail)
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