Criminals collecting big in California
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Through the course of the California public pension scandals, it has been discovered that unelected public employees in California don’t have to worry about losing their pensions if convicted of a criminal act.
Two weeks ago, former Vernon, California City Administrator Bruce Malkenhorst was convicted of misappropriating public funds, yet despite performing illegal acts, he will still receive his $500,000 a year taxpayer-funded pension.
The LA Times recounts:
When Malkenhorst stepped down in 2005 amid a criminal investigation by L.A. County prosecutors, he was making about $912,000 a year. Now he collects the highest public pension in California: $509,664.
This follows the earlier case involving Bell, California City Administrator Robert Rizzo who too was faced questions over his compensation.
The City Administrator Robert Rizzo made about $800,000 a year, and that his total compensation swelled to about $1.5 million with other benefits.
Rizzo was on track to collect $600,000 through a supplementary pension he designed for himself and other Bell officials could have pushed his pension to $1 million a year.
According to California state law, pensions are only repealed if an elected official is convicted of a crime, and lawmakers since have worked to eliminate the pension benefits granted to those employees convicted. So far their efforts have been unsuccessful.