Government Spending

How a Pension Crisis is Created: One Bad Decision at a Time


If you work for the state of California's Office of Inspector General, even if you are just an auditor or lawyer, you are also, in about 2/3 of the cases, also legally a "peace officer" with all the pension benefits accruing thereto. (Plus the guns and cars.) Details and quotes and links over at my California news and politics blog "City of Angles."

An excerpt from the Sacto Bee:

The Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes found that two-thirds of the OIG's 150 employees carry a badge and gun. New lawyer and inspector hires go through 150 hours of law enforcement training and each receive $2,000 worth of equipment, including a gun and body armor. No one at OIG has fired a gun or arrested anyone while on assignment in five years.

The peace officer jobs come with state-paid cars that the report says have been used mostly for work commutes.

And the L.A. Times explains the pension benefits (and costs…):

The biggest benefit of peace officer status is the pension. Most public employees are eligible to collect 2% of their annual salary, multiplied by the number of years they worked, starting at age 55.  As an acknowledgement of the risks inherent in their jobs, police and firefighters can start collecting 3% of their annual salary, multiplied by the number of years worked, at age 50.

Reason on the looming national pension crisis.

NEXT: Taking Politics Out of Transportation - Economist Bruce Benson on Private Roads

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  1. Let them put in so many hours each month patroling certain Cali neighborhoods, you know, while they’re tooling around in their state cruisers. I’m sure there are some locations screaming for an increased law enforcement presence.

  2. I suppose the OIG needs firearms considering that I can’t understand how California approved this recent the 65-mile “train to nowhere” that would link two tiny towns at a cost of $4.15 billion, all because the state didn’t want to lose $2 billion in federal stimulus funds.

    The only way this would happen is if the OIG was holding a gun to the heads of those voting on the project, right?

    Surely no one in a state as broke as California would agree to spending $2 billion on a rail between two towns with populations of at most around 30,000, right?

    Unless they had a gund held to their head, which would explain the need for the OIG to be packing.

    California, you soooo crazeeee…

  3. What, no state-supplied chicks to go with the car and the heat? OIG is missing out BIG time.

    1. “The blonde climbed right in the car. She was packing a pair of 38s. She also had a gun…..”

      1. I also heard it as.

        She shoved a pair of .38’s in my face, then she pulled a gun.

        Better ?

  4. The title 11 I think it is in the federal system status is a fabulous boondogle. I have friends who are lawyers who teach down at the federal law enfrocement training center. It used to be they were on LE status and to LE pay which was like a third of their base salary. They made so much money that when they redisignated them and gave them a level increase from GS 13 to 14, they still had to take a pay cut. There are tons of workers out there getting LE pay who never leave a desk.

  5. What possible alternative response could there be, upon discovery of transposed numbers in an expense report, than to crash through the office door, gun drawn, and arrest the perp after slamming her head on the desk a few times?

  6. After reading the Director of Calper’s letter to the wsj claiming that the state pension fund was in fine health, I was shocked to learn that they received a bailout by the Fed.

  7. Reminds of about 15 years ago, when the assistant county prosecutors in New Jersey tried to argue that they were really “police officers” for pension purposes because they carried weapons and ocassionally went out on arrests with the cops. In a rare instance of good sense, the courts rejected their argument.

  8. All we need now is one DMV janitor to make a citizen’s arrest and then file a peace officer’s pension claim.

  9. omes found that two-thirds of the OIG’s 150 employees carry a badge and gun. New la

  10. omes found that two-thirds of the OIG’s 150 employees carry a badge and gun. New la

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