By BRETT WILKISON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
An oversight by Sonoma County pension officials led Wednesday to the release of records showing District Attorney Jill Ravitch was receiving a pension from the county system.
If true, that would mark the county’s top prosecutor as a “double-dipper,” an ignominious label sometimes used to describe public officials simultaneously drawing two or more incomes from their government service.
But Ravitch, 53, isn’t in that club. Although she was receiving pension payments because of her past employment as a county prosecutor, Ravitch voluntarily suspended her monthly payments upon taking office in January.
“I believe it was the right thing to do,” Ravitch said in a phone message Thursday following publication of a story in The Press Democrat about the release of pension records.
“I will never be able to recoup what I have decided to forgo,” Ravitch said.
A retirement official confirmed Ravitch’s “suspended status” Thursday. An incorrect computer code in the pension system software put the district attorney on the list of those receiving benefits instead of reporting her suspended status, the official said.
Ravitch “has declined receipt of retirement benefits given her return to work at the County,” Elizabeth Andersen, the benefits specialist, wrote in an email. “The benefit payments are not deferred and will not be received at a later date.”
Before her election, Ravitch worked as a top prosecutor in the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for 2½ years. She is not receiving a pension for that work.