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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #81  
Old 11-22-2022, 4:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
Even if she were so convicted, it would be an open question. I'm not aware of any case law concerning the forfeiture provision of the PEPRA, but I am aware of many retirement agencies, including my own, that have elected not to seek forfeiture of retirement earnings that preceded the events leading to conviction under the belief that such a forfeiture could be sustained.
[...]
She may make for a good test case in the event that CalPers wants to test the PEPRA forfeiture provision, but so far they haven't had the will to do so.
CalPERS invoked the law on their former CEO; I doubt they'd hesitate for anyone else.
As the Sac Bee reported in 2016, CalPERS' former CEO, Fred Buenrostro was convicted and had his pension cut.
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Under state law, Buenrostro is entitled to his pension. But his $201,600 in annual retirement pay has been greatly reduced by his criminal behavior. Buenrostro has had his retirement benefits slashed since September 2014, shortly after he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, a CalPERS spokeswoman said Wednesday. The reduction was prompted by the “felony forfeiture” provision in the state public employee retirement law, CalPERS spokeswoman Rosanna Westmoreland said.

Buenrostro was earning $238,992 a year in salary when he left CalPERS in 2008. His pension was set at $16,800 a month, based on approximately three decades of service as a state worker.

After admitting that he accepted more than $250,000 in bribes, Buenrostro was stripped of more than 2 1/2 years of service time of his tenure at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, approximately the time frame when he was committing a felony by accepting bribes. With that, Buenrostro’s gross monthly payout was cut to $11,769, according to Westmoreland.

In addition, Buenrostro also has been required to refund an “overpayment” of around $360,000 he collected since leaving state government. The refund represents difference between the pension he had been collecting, based on the original calculation of his retirement when he left state government, and the new amount calculated after his guilty plea.

Buenrostro wasn’t forced to refund the $360,000 all at once; it’s being deducted from his pension payout at a rate of $5,135 a month, Westmoreland said. The deductions will continue for another 48 months, she said. By the time he gets out, he will be collecting 70 percent of his original pension – or $141,228 a year before taxes.
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  #82  
Old 11-22-2022, 7:55 PM
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CalPERS invoked the law on their former CEO; I doubt they'd hesitate for anyone else.
As the Sac Bee reported in 2016, CalPERS' former CEO, Fred Buenrostro was convicted and had his pension cut.
Dvrjon,

Thanks for posting the article. I had not been previously aware of this case. I had followed the criminal cases of Lee Baca, Paul Tanaka and others from the LASD FBI investigation. Baca kept his full pension because he had maxed out prior to his felonious conduct and there were no added benefits to forfeit.

In reading of Mr. Buenrostro's case it looks like CalPers still took the very restricted view of the forfeiture provision and they did not go back beyond the SOL of three years.

The link that you posted to the PEPRA sections shows that it was amended in 2015. What changed from the 2013 version of the PEPRA?
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Old 11-25-2022, 2:44 PM
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Dvrjon,

Thanks for posting the article. I had not been previously aware of this case. I had followed the criminal cases of Lee Baca, Paul Tanaka and others from the LASD FBI investigation. Baca kept his full pension because he had maxed out prior to his felonious conduct and there were no added benefits to forfeit.

In reading of Mr. Buenrostro's case it looks like CalPers still took the very restricted view of the forfeiture provision and they did not go back beyond the SOL of three years.

The link that you posted to the PEPRA sections shows that it was amended in 2015. What changed from the 2013 version of the PEPRA?
Hi, Rick...

The PEPRA was written by Joint Committee...which is the Legislature's equivalent of a committee designing a horse and delivering a camel.

Since it was committee approved, when it was brought back to the Legislature it couldn't be amended; just passed. It's been getting cleanup changes ever since.

The 2014 amendments, effective in 2015 made technical corrections to PEPRA to clarify the Legislature's intent in enacting PEPRA and to assist affected employers and retirement systems in implementation of PEPRA.

For this discussion, the operative element was the clarification that the claw-back provisions were subject to other legalities (like SOLs on filing claims and statutory limits on time for claw-back).

Quote:
7522.72. (a) This section shall apply to a public employee first employed by a public employer or first elected or appointed to an office before January 1, 2013, and, on and after that date, Section 7522.70 shall not apply.
(b) [...]
(c) (1) A member shall forfeit all the rights and benefits earned or accrued from the earliest date of the commission of any felony described in subdivision (b) to the forfeiture date, inclusive. The rights and benefits shall remain forfeited notwithstanding any reduction in sentence or expungement of the conviction following the date of the member's conviction. Rights and benefits attributable to service performed prior to the date of the first commission of the felony for which the member was convicted shall not be forfeited as a result of this section.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall apply to the extent permissible by law.
The Public Employees' Retirement Law (PERL) contains specific limits of three years for claw back. I suspect there are other statutes which could come into play.
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