WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) – Florida can deny the pension of a 30-year member of the Florida Legislature who was convicted of bribery, a state appeals court ruled.
State law specifically allows forfeiture of the entire pension, Judge May ruled.
W.D. Childers, a state legislator and former teacher, received bribes and other illegal compensation while serving on the Escambia Board of County Commissioners. Though he was convicted of bribery, the parties stipulated that the crimes were not related to his service as a legislator or teacher.
Even so, he was forced to forfeit his pension.
He challenged the order, claiming forfeiture of his pension from his service as a teacher and legislator violated his constitutional rights.
“One thing the Legislature made perfectly clear,” May wrote, “is that an ’employee who is convicted of a specified offense committed prior to retirement … shall forfeit all rights and benefits under any public retirement system of which he or she is a member.'”