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July 23rd, 2010 1:02 pm
CFIF Article Prompts Mass Resignations of Overpaid California Officials

Once CFIF reported on the outrageous compensation packages of top city officials in Bell, CA, the city council announced the following resignations just after midnight today: Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo ($787,637 annual salary); Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia ($376,288); and Police Chief Randy Adams ($457,000).

Although none of the three will get severance packages when they leave, all will get substantial taxpayer-funded pensions not to work.

Rizzo would be entitled to a state pension of more than $650,000 a year for life, according to calculations made by the Times. That would make Rizzo, 56, the highest-paid retiree in the state pension system.

Adams could get more than $411,000 a year.

Spaccia, 51, could be eligible for as much as $250,000 a year when she reaches 55, though the figure is less precise than for the other two officials, the Times said.

The reason these pensions are so high is simple.  In California, many state workers get pension awards based on their highest income earning year.  All the years of lower pay – decades’ worth! – are ignored.  Since the pension amount is a percentage of the worker’s best paid year, abuse is rampant.

Anyone familiar with the system knows a police officer, firefighter, state nurse or other public employee who arranges to get tons of overtime during their last 1 to 3 years of service.  Since overtime boosts a person’s highest annual income amount, it inflates the resulting pension percentage.  This allows thousands of California public employees to retire in their 50s making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year – for life – not to work.

In fact, that’s exactly the kind of retirement Bell Police Chief Randy Adams was enjoying when Bell officials approached him for the job.  Adams had retired as the police chief of Glendale, CA, and said he would only work for Bell if the city paid both his $165,000 annual salary and the amount he was making in retirement.  If we subtract $165,000 from his annual compensation of $457,000, we can see that Adams was making $262,000 a year in retirement.

This is insane.  The public employee unions who negotiate these kinds of ridiculous contracts – and the politicians who sign off on them – have corrupted both the budget process and the integrity of their offices.  A reckoning is coming at all levels of government for precisely this kind of behavior.  The “Bell Three” are just the first of many to be rung out of office.

H/T: FoxNews.com

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