Bell a model for pay cases

CalPERS de­ci­sion to cut ex- po­lice chief ’s pen­sion due to se­cret salary sets prece­dent.

Los Angeles Times - - LOS ANGELES - By Paul Pringle paul. pringle@ latimes. com

A Cal­i­for­nia pen­sion board’s de­ci­sion to slash the re­tire­ment ben­e­fits of for­mer Bell Po­lice Chief Randy Adams be­cause his salary was con­cealed from the public will serve as a prece­dent for other cases in which gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials re­ceive hid­den pay, the panel has an­nounced.

An ad­min­is­tra­tive law judge had ruled in 2012 that Adams’ pen­sion would be based on his pre­vi­ous salary as Glendale po­lice chief rather than the $ 457,000 in an­nual pay he re­ceived from Bell.

Adams orig­i­nally sought an an­nual pen­sion of $ 510,000. To­day, he is re­ceiv­ing $ 290,000, ac­cord­ing to the Cal­i­for­nia Public Em­ploy­ees’ Re­tire­ment Sys­tem.

The CalPERS board said in a state­ment this week that, as a prece­dent, the Adams de­ci­sion “can be of­fi­cially cited in court, in other ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ceed­ings, and may be ap­plied broadly to other cases.”

“To be the ba­sis for a pen­sion, a public of­fi­cial’s salary must be read­ily avail­able to the public,” the board said.

He was ousted in 2010 af­ter Times re­ports on ex­trav­a­gant salaries paid to Bell of­fi­cials touched off a scan­dal in the work­ing- class town. For­mer City Man­ager Robert Rizzo, his top as­sis­tant and f ive City Coun­cil mem­bers were con­victed on cor­rup­tion charges. One coun­cil mem­ber was ac­quit­ted. Adams was not charged. In a sep­a­rate case, the CalPERS board adopted an ear­lier rul­ing by an ad­min­is­tra­tive judge that dras­ti­cally re­duced the f inal pay of for­mer Bell Coun­cil­man Ge­orge Mira­bal — from $ 8,083 to $ 673 — for the pur­pose of com­put­ing his pen­sion, of­fi­cials said.

Mira­bal’s pen­sion is now $ 123 a month, the spokes­woman said. He was among those con­victed in the Bell scan­dal.

At­tempts to reach Adams and Mira­bal for com­ment Thurs­day were un­suc­cess­ful.

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