I guess crime pays...
Despite a state law aimed at stripping such benefits from politicians who use their office for corruption and personal gain, former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland will be paid more than $1.3 million by taxpayers over the next 20 years in pension benefits, plus some darn good health care coverage.
Rowland and his wife are eligible to go on the state employee health plan at a cost of as low as $29 a month in premiums out of his pocket and a cost to taxpayers of as much as $1,900 a month. The cost for prescription drugs to Rowland under this plan? No co-pay at all for many types of medication, and a “maximum” of a $6 co-pay for others.
After Rowland resigned and was convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, mail fraud and tax fraud, the state legislature passed a bill (later signed by Rowland’s successor, Gov. M. Jodi Rell) that makes it possible for the state’s attorney general to seek a court action removing pension and health benefits should a state employee be found guilty of embezzlement of public funds, felonious theft from the state, bribery or felonies committed through the misuse of a government office or job.
But it was not enacted retroactively. and according to the state attorney general’s office, the state can’t strip Rowland of his pension.
“It does not appear there is any provision under state law to support revoking or reducing the qualified pension of a former state elected official who was convicted prior to passage of the revocation statute, for crimes involving their office,” spokesperson Susan Kinsman said. “We are also not aware of any provisions of the state pension plans that would permit pension forfeiture for bad acts.”