Possible Reduction Versus Mandatory Revocation
Commenter Pragmatist notes, in response to my post suggesting the withholding of pensions to the politically corrupt, that such a law already exists. But the Public Employee Pension Revocation and Reduction Act merely makes it possible for the state to take away a pension (or reduce it):
(c) In any civil action under this chapter for the revocation or reduction of retirement or other benefits or payments, the superior court shall determine:
(i) Whether the public employee has been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any crime related to his or her public office or public employment and, if so;
(ii) Whether the retirement or other benefits or payments to which the public official or public employee is otherwise entitled should be revoked or diminished and, if so;
(iii) In what amount or by what proportion such revocation or reduction should be ordered.
(2) In rendering its decision hereunder, the superior court shall consider and address each of the following factors:
(i) The fact that the allowance of retirement or other benefits or payments for service under this title, under title 16, under title 45, under title 8, under chapter 30 of title 28, under chapter 43 of title 31, and under chapter 28 of title 42 presumes and requires that the service shall have been honorably rendered;
(ii) The severity of the crime related to public office or public employment of which the public official or public employee has been convicted or to which the public official or public employee has pled guilty or nolo contendere;
(iii) The amount of monetary loss suffered by the public official’s or public employee’s employer or by any other person as a result of the subject crime related to public office or public employment;
(iv) The degree of public trust reposed in the subject public official or public employee by virtue of his or her public office or public employment; and
(v) Any such other factors as, in the judgment of the superior court, justice may require.
One can imagine an understandable tendency, when faced with an aging employee whose crime might have been one of casually slipping into negligence over the years, toward mitigation under this law. What I’m talking about is a mandatory revocation of pensions whenever the corruption extends beyond a certain dollar and effect limit. (Using a public vehicle to move furniture once in a career wouldn’t count, but spending a year’s worth of afternoons at the local bar would.)