Saturday, March 21, 2020

Retirement Board says Troopers can keep their pensions


 Sad news for tax payers today in the Globe. Matt Rocheleau lays out how the hands of Retirement Board are tied by both state law and past legal precedent, which limits it's ability to strip pension benefits from former state workers. All this is because Maura Healey refused to prosecute those Troopers. If the virus didn't make you sick... this news certainly may.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/03/20/metro/state-police-troopers-accused-overtime-fraud-will-get-keep-their-pensions/

Fourteen retired Massachusetts State Police troopers who have been implicated — but not criminally charged — in a widespread payroll fraud scheme can keep receiving their pension payouts, according to the Massachusetts State Retirement Board.
The governor and State Police Colonel Christopher Mason had asked the board to strip the pensions of the 14 retired troopers, who, along with 32 others, have been accused by their own agency of fleecing taxpayers. But because they haven’t been charged criminally, the retired troopers can continue to receive their pensions, the board said in a March 6 memo.
The board also shot down the officials’ request to seek restitution from the retired troopers, calling the request unusual. The State Police, the retirement board said, “has the ability and available mechanisms at its disposal to most efficiently resolve” the matter.
The 14 troopers are collecting a total of more than $1.17 million a year in pension payments, with individual amounts ranging from $69,000 to $106,000 annually.
The board said its hands are tied by both state law and past legal precedent, which limits its ability to strip pension benefits from former state workers.
“Taking away or permanently forfeiting pensions was never a possibility the Retirement Board could pursue under the part of the statute available, given the status of the cases presented by the State Police, and due to the absence of a criminal conviction," said a statement from the retirement board’s executive director, Nicola Favorito.
The decision drew a sharp response from Baker.
“The administration and the State Police have provided the Retirement Board with extensive evidence of these members’ wrongdoing and urge the Board to recover these funds as the law permits,” said Baker spokeswoman Sarah Finlaw in a released statement.
State Police spokesman David Procopio said agency officials are reviewing their options for further potential legal action.

7 Comments:

At March 22, 2020 at 11:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had to let this digest before commenting. What can we do about this? I say we each call and email the A.G. and the governor. This is criminal to not prosecute these thieves and that is what these cops are, thieves.

 
At March 22, 2020 at 2:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the language on their pension about under which circumstance their pensions can be denied?

 
At March 22, 2020 at 3:16 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

good question on what the reasons would be... I could ask through a FIOA request

but as the article says... without a "criminal conviction" the board doesn't have the right to deny the pensions.

The Governor and the rest of state government is all consumed with the pandemic. Not much attention will be given to anything else imo. And when this pandemic ends, no one will remember why or how Maura Healey didn't prosecute these troopers.

 
At March 23, 2020 at 10:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to make sure people do not forget Healy’s refusal to do her job and prosecute these criminals

 
At March 23, 2020 at 1:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad news indeed Jim. Another failure of our elected officials here in MA to do the job they were elected to do

 
At March 24, 2020 at 4:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the timing on this smell fishy to anyone else? In the middle of the first worldwide pandemic in over 100 years we find this out ? Talk about the perfect time to have a story lost in the news cycle

 
At March 24, 2020 at 6:11 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

I couldn't agree more

 

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