State Attorney Willie Meggs And His Good Ol’ Buddy Sheriff Larry Campbell Have Been Abusing The Government’s DROP System And Robbing Tax Payer’s For Years In Which They Both Already Retired…
The Tally O Covered The Exclusive Story Regarding The DROP Retirement Of Sheriff Larry Campbell Back On June 27th, 2012 Prior To This Recent Article About State Attorney Willie Meggs Published By The PBA.
Florida Police Benevolent Association: Willie Meggs Sparks Reform of D.R.O.P., Supreme Court to Hear Lingering Ramifications
By allegedly “double-dipping” from D.R.O.P., State Attorney Willie Meggs ignited controversy that resulted in a reformed and less effective retirement plan for Florida’s state employees. The Supreme Court will hear a case regarding the ongoing ramifications of these program alterations.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — State retirement programs are created in an effort to assist employees in saving for their retirement. Because Florida’s state employees are ranked as the lowest paid in the nation, according to Florida Police Benevolent Association’s Matt Puckett, the Deferred Retirement Option Program, or D.R.O.P., was designed to assist them in accumulating retirement funds. Intended for use by lower-ranking employees, D.R.O.P. has been utilized by upper echelon officials to the dismay of the State legislature, as evidenced by the Legislature’s efforts to reform the program. Willie Meggs has not escaped criticism for his participation in D.R.O.P., even though his actions were technically legal, and the fallout from his alleged “double-dipping” has ignited a firestorm of negative publicity against the program, resulting in radical reformations that have significantly damaged the retirement system of the state of Florida.
Puckett explains that D.R.O.P. allows state employees who are eligible for retirement but unable to pay for it to extend their termination date by 5 years. During this time, retirement funds are moved into a D.R.O.P. account, which made 6.5 percent interest at the time that Meggs participated in the system. After the 5 year extension, employees are able to cash out their D.R.O.P. accounts and use the nest egg they have built to supplement their monthly pension.
The benefits of D.R.O.P. are many. Because Florida’s state employees, including teachers, police officers, and other professionals, are paid much less than those in other states, they are often forced to continue working because of financial limitations. D.R.O.P. allows these professionals to build their retirement funds faster during their additional 5 years of employment. This ensures that more state workers are financially able to leave their jobs after reaching retirement age.
But D.R.O.P. also creates upward mobility for lower-ranking employees. By assisting higher-ranking individuals in retirement, it opens up jobs that may not have previously become available for professionals looking to move up in their careers.
While the actions that Meggs took are, according to Florida law, not illegal, they are exceedingly questionable in terms of ethics. Tallahassee Democrat reports that Meggs entered D.R.O.P. in 2002 and, after the 5 year employment extension was up, retired in order to collect the funds that had accumulated in his account. According to TBO.com, Meggs collected $519,995 and a monthly pension check worth $8,468.32. When challenged regarding the morality of his actions, Meggs reportedly claimed, “It’s my cotton-picking money.” He entered retirement for one month and returned to his position for the next term, which he had won without opposition before announcing his “retirement.”
The alleged abuse of the system generated a great deal of controversy and, ultimately, D.R.O.P. has undergone many reforms that have hurt the lower-ranking employees it was meant to benefit. Puckett reports that interest rates on D.R.O.P. accounts have fallen significantly, reducing the already moderate nest egg that the program was able to offer state employees. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case regarding the cost of living and contribution issues that today’s state workers are facing, as 5 years after the alleged scandal Meggs’ actions and the resultant reform of the program are still harming the state employees who are struggling to retire.
The Florida Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (PBA) was established in 1972. A professional association of law enforcement officers, the PBA is a strong, steady advocate for law enforcement professionals and their families. PBA specializes in protecting law enforcement officers through legal, legislative and political action.
To learn more about the FPBA, visit www.flpba.org.
SOURCE: Florida Police Benevolent Association, Inc.
RELATED LINKS: http://www.flpba.org