JACKSON, Miss– If a public worker gets caught stealing taxpayer money, that worker can get convicted, sent to jail, and forced to pay the money back. That public worker also claims retirement.
“We’ve got folks who are convicted and plead felons,” says State Auditor Stacey Pickering, “that are sitting in jail today, drawing retirement based on a hundred, hundred and twenty thousand dollars a year, laughing all the way to the bank.”
So essentially, the convicts who stole the taxpayer money collect their retirement, which is partially funded by taxpayer money.
Pickering says that there’s a bill in the house, House Bill 31, that would stop the convicts from getting the portion of their retirement contributed by taxpayers. The dollar amount differs according to what a person put in from their own paycheck to their retirement fund.
House Bill 31 reads “Persons convicted of certain felonies shall forfeit benefits from PERS, SLRP and MHSPRS.” Those certain felonies being embezzlement, fraud, stealing, or any other mishandling of taxpayer dollars.
The bill has been given to committee to potentially be brought to the floor in the current legislative session. If that happens, the bill would need three-fifths of the floor’s vote to go before the governor to become law.