If convicted, Robert Rizzo will still collect a pension. If convicted, a Miramontes school teacher accused of horrific crimes against children will still receive a pension. That goes for nearly every public sector employee in the state convicted of a felony. The exceptions are for pension spikers, and corrupt elected officials. Even then, their pensions can be reduced, but a simple majority vote can reinstate a cancelled pension.
In an opinion piece, L.A. Times Columnist George Skelton first highlights the abuses of the current system, and then sheds light onto steps being taken to protect taxpayers, victims, and the image of government employees.
Preventing felons from earning pensions is one part of Governor Brown’s pension reform proposal. If a thirty-year employee violated the law for fifteen years, they would lose all those years of pension credit. It would reduce their retirement pay, not eliminate it.
Assemblyman Cameron Smtyh would go a step further and canonize that legislation into the Constitution, to give it staying power. In his view, taxpayers are stuck with the bill twice for public-sector criminals – once for their pensions and once for the cost of their incarceration.
And Skelton has a point. If trust is going to be earned and kept in the public sector, then the public must know that those who prey on the weak or vulnerable are not only going to pay, but they will not profit.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Here’s another outrage about the child abuse scandal at Miramonte Elementary School: If the teacher accused of spoon-feeding his semen to blindfolded students is convicted and sent to prison, he’ll still receive a public pension.
Mark Berndt, charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct against children, is due nearly $4,000 a month. No matter the jury verdict. It’s the law.
Read the full article here.