Go to Jail, and Still Collect a Taxpayer-Funded Pension
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin, who faces murder charges for the killing of George Floyd, will still be able to receive “his full, partially taxpayer-funded, pension benefits when he’s eligible,” even if he is convicted.
But more states have at least some provisions either for stripping convicted employees of their pensions or using the benefits to pay restitution.
According to the Reason Foundation’s Ryan Frost:
Across the country, 30 states have some sort of public pension garnishment or forfeiture laws. Of those 30, only 15 states will revoke or garnish an employee’s pension benefit if he or she is convicted of a felony related to their misconduct on the job…
The other 15 states with public pension garnishment or forfeiture laws will only revoke a public employee’s pension benefits, including police officers, for what are considered “financial crimes” such as fraud, embezzlement, theft, and bribery.
Additionally, some states have public pension forfeiture and garnishment laws but they are written so that they do not apply to police officers.
At the federal level, members of Congress and “most other officers and employees of the federal government” automatically lose their pension benefits if convicted of “espionage, treason, or several other national security offenses.”
But even some convicted members of Congress are either still getting their benefits, or are eligible to do so…even while behind bars:
Because of a loophole in the law, currently jailed former representatives Corrine Brown (D-FL) and Chaka Fattah (D-PA) are continuing to collect pension benefits – for the last couple of years – even after being convicted of crimes that seemingly would require pension forfeiture.
Even convicted congressman such as Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA), former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Ney (R-OH), Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL), Jim Traficant (D-OH), and Anthony Weiner (D-NY) are receiving or are still eligible to receive their pensions.
Image Credit: By Jericho [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons