A fire chief was awarded a $550K pension by mistake, and now the state of Washington wants the money back. Greg Hull, retired firefighter and chief of the DuPont Fire Department, reportedly received $500,000 in overpayment from the state’s retirement fund.
Hull’s position as fire chief was mistakenly listed as a consulting position rather than an employee of the city. Therefore, he continued to collect his new salary along with his pension. His total yearly income and pension totaled over $300,000.
As reported by KIRO TV, Washington’s State Department of Retirement Services recently conducted an audit, revealing that the fire chief received $550K in overpayment on his pension.
Hull has resigned his position as fire chief, and does not intend to return the money. Dave Nelson, speaking for the State Department of Retirement Services, explains that the city of DuPont bears the responsibility for repayment. Nelson states that they will be collecting the overpayment from the city, not Hull.
As reported by CS Monitor, Hull’s pension was one of the highest in the entire state of Washington. The audit came amid claims that numerous city employees were given pay raises late in their career, unfairly increasing the amount of their pensions.
Hull will be eligible to apply for reinstatement of his pension payments next month. However, he will lose any cost-of-living increases he gained while working as fire chief. He will retain is service credits.
Two other workers were also improperly classified by the city of DuPont, and were overpaid a total of $45,000. The city has been ordered to repay the money distributed to Hull and the other two workers. They have the option of filing an appeal.
Responding to the results of the audit, city officials contend that the workers were all properly classified, as they were all independent contractors.
The DuPont fire chief was awarded a $550K pension by mistake, but he is not expected to return the money. Instead, the city is now responsible as they mislabeled the positions.
[Image via Wikimedia]