Legislation ensuring that public employees who commit job-related felonies are stripped of their taxpayer-funded pensions received final legislative approval in the Senate today (March 20) and was sent to the Governor’s desk for enactment into law, according to Senator Elder Vogel.
Currently, the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act requires pension forfeiture only for certain specific crimes. This allows public employees charged with a forfeiture crime to plead guilty to a different non-forfeiture crime in order to avoid losing their pension.
Senate Bill 113 requires pension forfeiture after a public employee or official is convicted of — or pleads guilty or no contest to — any felony offense related to his or her employment.
The measure closes the “Mellow Loophole,” through which former Senator Bob Mellow of Lackawanna County had his $245,000 a year pension restored despite pleading guilty and being sent to prison on federal conspiracy charges.
“The legislation also ensures that criminal convictions involving public officials are reported to state pension boards, said Senator Vogel. “Current law does not require the employee, courts, or state agencies to send copies of court records upon conviction. Instead, pension boards learn of pension forfeiture cases through agency websites and newspaper articles. Under Senate Bill 113, courts would be required to notify state pension systems of all forfeiture cases.”
Contact: Charlie O’Neill (717) 787-3076 firstname.lastname@example.org