CITY OUTRAGED BY PENSION BOARD DECISION
(4/12/2007) Board Decides to Make White’s Pension Retroactive
NEW HAVEN- In an early morning meeting, The Police and Fire Pension Board decided to grant former Lieutenant William White’s pension while also making it retroactive to March 15, the date on which he filed the necessary paperwork. These actions contradict the April 4 Police Board of Commissioners’ decision to terminate White after he was arrested on March 12th pursuant to a federal investigation for theft of government funds.
The City’s General Order 89-2 states that an officer’s retirement is not official until it is accepted by a pension governing body. The board’s decision in this case attempts to usurp the city’s authority to terminate White because it claims he was retired effective March 15th and therefore ineligible for termination on April 4.
“The board essentially made the General Order null and void. They don’t have the authority to do that,” said Labor Relations Director Emmet Hibson. “The charter states the opposite of what they’ve decided. Therefore, the city will not recognize a retirement for White on the 15th. We maintain the position that White was terminated on April 4th and the Pension Board can’t take that away from us.”
Despite being the city’s representative on the matter, Hibson was prohibited from speaking at this morning’s hearing after a 4 to 3 vote against his participation. Board member Frank Lombardi claimed Hibson was out of order in speaking at the hearing sparking debate amongst the rest of the board. The charter allows the Chief of Police, the Board of Commissioners and Hibson to provide interpretation of the Police Collective Bargaining Agreement and answer questions related to the argument.
“We reserve the right to review and take civil action,” said Hibson. “I have real concerns about what this means for the General Order, the Collective Bargaining Agreement and what it means moving forward.”
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