Monday, August 15, 2011

CalPERS Showing Some Mercy to Taxpayers

CalPERS might soon be the rocky shoal against which California's ship of state runs aground and founders, but today we have a small bit of good news from their general direction. According to the Orange County Register, last year's scandals in the city of Bell have led the giant pension fund to slash some of the more outrageous public pension packages in the state.

Worried that you might be seeing higher taxes so that Bell's former city manager, Robert Rizzo, could collect a $650,000 annual pension in his golden years? Well, worry no more: CalPERS has slashed his pension down to $50,000 a year. Rizzo's partner in crime, ex-assistant city manager Angela Spaccia, will see her pension cut from $250,000 to $43,000. Former Bell police chief Randy Adams will see his pension shaved from over $410,000 to under $290,000. These are just three of the more than 300 pensions that CalPERS says need to be reduced, usually because public employers misstated the employee's salary.

While this is good news, it's also more than a little bit disturbing. If CalPERS found that 300 pensions were improperly inflated in a review of 2,000 records, how widespread would this fraud appear to be if it examined the pensions of all its beneficiaries?


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