Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m prone to double dipping … with the ice cream scoop.
My old colleague Patrick McGreevy and Shane Goldmacher have on a story about another type of double dipping in the Los Angeles Times today. Here’s a link to their story about Jerry Brown appointees who are collecting public pensions and public paychecks. One of them is Ann Ravel, the chairwoman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, who told the Times she’s “committed to public service.” That wouldn’t sound quite so hollow if she followed the example of Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, who voluntarily stopped collecting her county retirement benefits when she took office in January.
As the Times story points out, rank-and-file state employees aren’t allowed to simultaneously collect wages and pensions. There’s an exemption for political appointees. Double-dipping isn’t limited to political appointees, however. An employee with a CalPERS pension from state or municipal government can retire, start collecting benefits and go to work for a county, such as Sonoma, that has an independent pension system. That’s pay, pension and the prospect of qualifying for a second pension if they stay long enough. A triple dip?
– Jim Sweeney