The Altoona City Council fired Police Officer Herrick Johnson on Sept. 10 for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old girl he met online.
Johnson, 49, met the girl through a web site that promoted law enforcement careers. State police charged him in August with driving to Indiana to pick up the girl at her family’s home in July.
Johnson asked to retire with full pension benefits, and the city has indicated that it could find no grounds to deny them. Under the Pennsylvania Public Employee Pension Forfeitures Act, municipalities may deny a vested pension to police officers who commit forgery, records tampering, perjury and official oppression, but not the crimes Johnson is charged with.
School employees, on the other hand, can lose their pension benefits for sex convictions such as rape, statutory sexual assault and indecent assault.
Johnson’s firing should not affect his pension status, officials said.