Corruption of public employees have plagued schools and communities across the State of Michigan. Under the current Michigan law, the courts may order the forfeiture of a public pension when a public employee is convicted of a felony resulting from the misuse of public funds or from the receipt of a bribe as a public employee.
State Rep. Jim Runestad’s House Bills 4131 will replace the word “may” in the current law with “shall,” making pension forfeiture for public employees who steal from the public mandatory, not just subject to court discretion. Furthermore, the bill adds language to allow for forfeiture of the employer contribution to a defined-contribution plan, or a 401(k)-style plan, which the current law does not address. Mandatory forfeiture of both pensions and employer contributions to defined-contribution plans will save trial expense in seeking this penalty and set a firm disincentive to breaching the public trust.
You can check out more on House Bill 4131 at http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2017-HB-4131.
Visit State Representative Jim Runestad on the web.
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Interview recorded on April 26th, 2017. Hosted by Laurel Hess.