Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Former Arizona Senator Russell Pearce 'Champion of the taxpayer' makes $233k

Roberts: How can Russell Pearce get by on a mere $233,000 a year?
, The Republic |
Last week, I wrote that Russell Pearce was working on a sweet triple dip. I was wrong.
Pearce isn’t working on a triple dip. He’s already enjoying three taxpayer-supported pensions.
This, in addition to last week’s $70,000 raise added to his $85,000 annual salary from the Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office.
Pearce was promoted to the No. 2 job in the Treasurer’s Office last week, and I surmised that the raise would provide a nice boost to his eventual pension in the Arizona State Retirement System.
Turns out he’s already “retired” from government service. Since 2012, he’s been collecting an ASRS pension. David Cannella, spokesman for ASRS, told me on Tuesday that Pearce is collecting $12,444 a year as a result of 8.35 years of state employment in the 1990s, capped by his firing from the Motor Vehicle Division in 1999.

'Champion of the taxpayer' makes $233k

That doesn’t count the $53,937 a year he draws from the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System for his 21 years at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Or the $10,446 pension from the Elected Officials' Retirement Plan for his gigs as a justice of the peace and state legislator, capped by his recall from office in 2011.
Cannella said Pearce could have suspended his ASRS pension and rejoined the retirement system when he was hired by the county in 2014. I’m guessing the fact that he would have had to kick in 11.48 percent of his salary to ASRS may have something to do with his decision not to un-retire. That’s $18,000 a year.
That might turn out to be a mistake, though. ASRS pensions are based upon the average of your final three years of employment. In Pearce’s case, a $70,000 raise would provide a tasty boost to his pension.
Instead, he’s apparently decided to settle for his $157,000 job plus $76,827 from the three government pension plans.
In all, he's collecting $233,827.
Not too terribly bad for a guy who used to call himself a champion of the taxpayer.