Plea Deal Means Hefty Pension for Contra Costa’s Felon D.A.

As if the pilfering of $60,000 in campaign funds wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson will also keep the bulk of his county pension funds.  Peterson is expected to take home $128,000 in retirement payouts to start -- just $22,000 less than he would have sans the felony perjury conviction.

This sort of thing was supposed to be quashed by the pension reform bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012. It contains a provision barring public employees convicted of job-related felonies from accruing a pension in the years since they committed their crimes. But Peterson was able to strike an advantageous deal with prosecutors. Had he not, he would only be taking home about $76,000 to start.

It’s not clear whether the pension implications were on anyone’s mind when Peterson and prosecutors struck the plea deal. But as usual, it’s wise to follow the money.

Ultimately, this aspect of Peterson's deal with prosecutors could be rendered moot. Multiple legal challenges against the pension forfeiture provision are currently pending in the courts.


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