I was the first one to notice that the line of duty disability rate of approval at the City of Memphis was 10 times higher than Shelby County government or the MLGW. I asked why.
The answer was in the pension ordinance. The ordinance states the following concerning the makeup of the pension board which approves disability applications.
Sec. 4-8-1 The board shall consist of the
mayor or the mayor’s designee, the comptroller and five employees with at least ten (l0) years of service, a citizen member of the city, a retiree of the plan, and a member of the city council.
Obviously the henhouse is well guarded by the foxes. Interim Mayor Myron Lowery nominated me for the citizen position on the board but the City Council led by BS Ware defeated me with Ms. Ware stating that she was afraid of dogs, particularly this watchdog.
Then I was contacted by Keli Rabon of channel 3 and she produced this story which involved Representative Curry Todd of Collierville.
Then I did some further research and actually got some personnel files and found that the pension ordinance contains the following provision, a provision that has been ignored for years and years.
4. If a participant suffering from an ordinary disability and receiving benefits under this section, nevertheless engages in a gainful occupation not with the city or returns to employment with the city and reenters the 1948 plan as a participant, his or her disability benefits shall be reduced so that the sum of his or her disability benefit payments and his or her compensation from such occupation or city employment shall not exceed his or her average monthly compensation as of the original date of his or her disability.
This provision has been ignored for years and finally due to efforts by taxpayers like myself and the media has been brought to the present administration’s attention. However due to recent union pressure, implementation has been put off. We are talking millions of dollars being paid where it should not have been paid and this has been going on for over 30 years. Here is the list of only the line of duty disability recipients for the one year total of $11.8 million dollars. There are many more others on disability. This shameful waste of taxpayer resources has to be stopped and changes made to the pension ordinance.