NEW ORLEANS – A pension fund set up for some of New Orleans' emergency workers is accusing the city of decreasing payments in violation of their contract.

The New Orleans Fire Fighter's Pension and Relief Fund filed suit against the City of New Orleans in the Orleans Parish Central District Court on July 23. The Fire Fighter's Fund claims the City of New Orleans reduced payments to the fund from $1,981,901.58 monthly to $750,000.

The change came as a new system was put in place by the city council to determine its responsibility for the pension fund. The city claims it was not required to fully fund the pensions due to foreign tax credits the account was supposed to receive.

But, the plaintiff claims due to the city decreasing its contributions the fund is underfunded by $17,524,359 through Dec. 31, 2012. The Fire Fighter's Fund asserts that if the balance is not made up the assets may have to be liquidated.

The defendant is accused of violating its obligation to make an appropriation to cover the fund and failing to budget and make payment to the system.

Damages in the amount of $17,524,359 are being sought.

The Fire Fighter's Fund is represented by Louis L. Robein of New orleans-based Spencer, Picard & Cangemi, APLC.

The case has been assigned to Division G Judge Robin M. Giarrusso.

Case no. 2012-07061.

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