Disagreements Get Personal At San Diego Pension Board Meeting; One Trustee: “I Am Very Concerned For My Safety”

board room chair

Until now, the major points of contention among trustees of San Diego County’s pension fund have been matters of investment policy.

[Pension360 has covered some of the drama surrounding the fund’s outsourced CIO and its investment strategy.]

But things are getting personal among the fund’s board members. An email exchange obtained by U-T San Diego reveals the extent of the personal issues, particularly between trustees David Myers and Samantha Begovich:

The ongoing divide about investment strategies on the county pension board has spilled over into personal allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination, with threats of a potential lawsuit between board members and one trustee saying she fears for her personal safety.


According to the emails, Begovich told pension system CEO Brian White earlier this month that Myers has harassed and ridiculed her in public and private, and she is afraid he may lose his composure and commit violence against her.

“I am very concerned for my safety now,” Begovich wrote to White on the evening of Feb. 4, the night before a pension board meeting. “I wonder if we can have him not bring his gun to meetings.”

White responded 21 minutes later, telling Begovich he did not understand her statement about fearing for her safety at meetings of the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association.

“Are you saying that you are concerned that Dave Myers might shoot you?” replied White, who shared her private correspondence with the entire board without seeking Begovich’s approval. “I cannot give that any credence. I once again ask if you would like me to arrange a change in your seat with another board member.”

Begovich wrote back in five minutes: “Yes. That is what I am concerned about given his behavior to date and your unilateral decision to release a privileged document with my private conclusions relayed to you.”

More of the surreal email exchange can be read here.