Public employees who retire from their jobs and start receiving retirement benefits under the state plan can’t count on that pension if they are later convicted of violating the public trust while they were employed by the government.
Recent case: Carlos Garay retired from his job with the Miami-Dade County Department of Human Services in 2002 and began receiving a pension. In 2003, he pleaded guilty to altering agency records and skimming funds while he worked for the county.
It was another three years before the retirement system found out about the conviction and cut off his payments. He sued, alleging that after he retired, his pension could not be forfeited.
The Court of Appeals of Florida disagreed, concluding it is when the crime was committed that counts. (Garay v. Department ofServices, No. 1D09-4865, Court of Appeal of Florida, 2010)