Jerry Sandusky is appealing the decision to revoke his Penn State pension, saying that the law doesn’t support the action taken by the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System.
Sandusky’s attorney Charles Benjamin wrote a five-page letter to the system’s board, detailing the reasons why the former Penn State coach who was convicted of child molestation should still be given his $59,000 per year pension, reports Fox News.
In the letter, Benjamin argued that the former coach’s pension rights were vested in 1969 and were not changed by any amendments to state law. He added that Sandusky was not a university employee when tougher forfeiture laws were passed in 2004 (he retired in 1999). Benjamin wrote:
“We trust that SERS, upon further reflection, will agree that no legal basis exists for forfeiture of Mr. Sandusky’s vested retirement benefits.”
The retirement system originally cited Jerry Sandusky’s convictions for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse as well as sexual assault triggered the forfeiture under provisions of Pennsylvania’s Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act. The law was initially passed in 1978 but was amended in 2004 to include any public school employee that has been convicted of a sex crime against a student.
Sandusky’s pension was forfeit by the board when he was sentenced to 60 years in prison on October 30, according to NBC-10. Benjamin added in the letter:
“At no time after Mr. Sandusky’s June 30, 1999, retirement did SERS cause the retirement benefits he was receiving to cease. Had Mr. Sandusky returned to active service at Penn State for regular renumeration as a school employee, SERS would have caused his retirement benefits to cease.”
Benjamin stated that, should the retirement board not reconsider their decision to forfeit Sandusky’s pension, he would seek an administrative hearing. The pension’s forfeiture also applies to the former coach’s wife, Dottie, who would otherwise be eligible to receive his retirement benefits if he dies before she does.
Do you think that Jerry Sandusky deserves to have his pension returned to him?