The court found Monday that the five were serving in their official capacity when they voted in 2002 to increase pension benefits for all 20,000 fund participants. In exchange, the city could avoid a scheduled $25 million payment to the retirement system.
The five also were part of the retirement plan and legally benefited along with every member.
The high court unanimously decided that former trustee Ron Saathoff should stand trial on criminal conflict-of-interest charges. The justices said it appears that Saathoff, who was also president of the firefighter's union at the time, uniquely benefited from his vote.
Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote in the decision that the other officials were cleared because the increased benefits they received were not any different than those that all city workers were awarded, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.