Tuesday, June 26, 2007

 

Where do I sign up?

How’s this for a sweet deal. You quit your city job for a better state job and the city, in gratitude for your normally-less-than-pension-qualifying service, gives you the pension anyway. And apparently we’re not talking chump change here either – the pension pays over $55,000 a year.

Pension For Police Appointee Debated

Of course, it will come as no surprise to many Marylanders that this is all about Baltimore. Marcus Brown had been a deputy police commissioner during the latter reign of Martin O’Malley and followed the newly-elected Governor to become his head of the Maryland Transportation Authority. The result:

“At age 42, with less than 15 years in Baltimore and credit for three in San Jose, Brown was awarded an annual pension from the city of more than $55,000. He took advantage of a relatively obscure provision in the city code -- the meaning of which has been much debated -- that allows an employee with between 15 and 20 years of service to collect a pension if he is "removed . . . without fault upon his part."

Apparently everyone is a moron on how to read that except for the police department’s legal counsel:

“Hornig said the term "removed" has a different meaning in a paramilitary organization such as a police force, and that it encompasses voluntary resignation. Simply quitting a job in a police force, without permission, could result in disciplinary action, she said.

"When you're a commander, you don't get to just quit," she said. "You have to essentially be removed by your commander."

Since I have no idea what she is trying to say here, I’ll count myself among the morons.

The Governor, of course, is blameless:

“…[he]said he was not involved in the decision to award it. "I think it was something between [Brown] and the police commissioner," he said.”

But later we learn that:

“In Brown's case, an agreement signed when he became deputy commissioner in 2005 appears to specify that he be given the option of early retirement if he left without having served 20 years.”

…and the Mayor at that time was?

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