Criminals collecting big in California
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According to California state law, pensions are only repealed if an elected official is convicted of a crime, and lawmakers since have worked to eliminate the pension benefits granted to those employees convicted.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.