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Former Derby mayor sues city over retirement fund

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Former Derby Mayor Alan Schlesinger claims city officials breached a contract with him when they changed the company that managed the city’s retirement fund.

In a lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Milford, Schlesinger claims city officials and Beirne Wealth Services, the current manager of the Derby retiree fund, cost him more than $5,000 when they devalued his investments without consulting him.

He is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

Schlesinger, who served as mayor from 1994 to 1998 and was a six-term state representative, now lives in Jupiter, Fla. He could not be reached for comment. His lawyer did not return calls and emails for comment.

According to the lawsuit, from April 1994 to July 2019, Schlesinger was a participant in the city of Derby’s retirement plan. Initially the plan was managed by Voya but in March 2019, the city transferred management of the fund to Beirne Wealth Services of Shelton, the suit states.

Notice of the management change was directed to employees of the city of Derby but the suit states that Schlesinger and other retirees received no notice of the transfer.

On May 2, 2019, the suit states that Beirne Wealth liquidated without Schlesinger’s authority an investment of his valued at $17,217.73 in one previous Voya investment account and another of $5,971.44 and reinvested the money in funds returning smaller interest rates, among other changes.

As a result, the suit states that Schlesinger lost $5,000 in value in his investments in the pension plan and incurred a number of fees.

Lawyers assigned to the case by Derby officials did not return calls for comment. Beirne Wealth did not respond to calls and emails for comment.

It’s unclear how many, if any, more people were affected by the retirement plan change. There are no online records of any other lawsuits against either the city of Derby or Beirne Wealth Services regarding the city’s retirement plan.