Monday, May 12, 2008

Rob Walker Submits Bill to Help GOP Worker Get Better Pension

The Albany Times-Union has all the gory details....

"A bill advanced by the Senate Rules Committee, controlled by Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and sponsored by Assemblyman Rob Walker, R-Hicksville, would improve Julie A. Cleary's benefits at the expense of New York state's pension fund and her employer, the Nassau County Board of Elections."

"Cleary is the former secretary for Nassau County GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello. In 2006, Bruno helped Mondello become the head of the state party."
"Cleary, who worked for the state Senate from 1998 to 2004, began working for the Nassau County elections commission in 2004, public records show. She is a $107,531-per-year executive assistant to the Republican elections commissioner."
"Records show a Julie A. Cleary, of Wantagh, will turn 55 this June.
The bill for her was first introduced by the same sponsors in 2007 to reclassify her as a Tier 1 employee instead of Tier 2. The improved status means many more benefits and a bigger pension, although the comptroller's office had no estimates.
If she is designated as a Tier 1 member, she can retire at 55 with no early retirement penalties. As a Tier 2 member with less than 30 years of service, she would face an early retirement reduction of 27 percent, according to the comptroller's office."
Nassau County officials say they have no record of Cleary being on the payroll until 2004.
Jennifer Freeman, a spokeswoman for DiNapoli, said the bill is unusual because it comes with a past service cost of about $51,800, which would be paid to the pension fund by all employers who contribute to the retirement system -- state agencies, municipalities and other public entities. This cost would make up for shortages paid to the pension fund during the longer period of Cleary's membership in the system."

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