Suit Challenges Raises For CSU Executives

Two taxpayers are challenging raises for top executives in the California State University system.

In a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, the two recent CSU grads claim that retroactive pay handed out to 26 top executives amounts to more than $100,000 in illegal gifts of public funds.

The complaint, which seeks an injunction to stop the raises and force executives to return retroactive pay, says the raises will cause irreparable harm to taxpayers.

The suit also claims the retroactive nature of the raises, which were approved last month and go back to July, violates the state Constitution.

The suit was filed by Raul and Crystal Rodriguez of Hemet, who are graduates of Cal State San Bernardino.

Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Association, said the union helped the couple with the suit.

CSU's Board of Trustees approved the raises, saying they need to stay competitive to hire and keep the best leaders.

Under the raises, campus presidents average about $292,000 a year plus other benefits.

CSU spokeswoman Claudia Keith said officials had not seen the suit and could not comment.

However, she said the university often grants retroactive pay raises, including those for faculty, because of delays in getting a state budget passed.

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