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National

Should Sex Offenders Be Allowed to Get Federal Pensions?

[fedsmith.com – 5/8/19]

Legislation has recently been introduced that would prohibit convicted pedophiles from receiving federal pensions.
The Denying Pensions to Convicted Child Molesters Act (S. 1264) was introduced by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). It would block convicted sex offenders from receiving federal pensions.

Daines introduced the bill in response to news that Dr. Stanley Patrick Weber, a former pediatrician with the Indian Health Service, was recently convicted to 18 years in federal prison for molesting children while he worked at the agency. Since he will continue receiving an approximately $100,000 per year pension while in prison, he could end up with nearly $2 million during his 18 year sentence.

“It’s shocking that a government employee can still receive a pension after being convicted of sexually abusing children,” said Daines. “That is unacceptable, which is why I will take action and introduce a bill today to fix this flawed system.”

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  1. SR

    If the person did their job, they shouldn’t lose any contractual obligations they’re due.

    If they want to introduce something into the contract going forward for new people that certain actions will result in forfeit of pension and other benefits, that’s fine. But certainly not retroactively.

  2. The Vampire

    Beware the laws you make NOW!! Can attack your family in the future.This is for the law makers who like to get feel good votes

  3. Tim

    Here we have a R, back handedly attacking a D federal unionist pension payout. Again the child molester is used as a tool to impose affirmative restraint by law. INTENT is again exposed. “Was in prison for a ….crime” was embraced by ALL 51 in 1994 with the same intent. It is dead headed to permit a retiring FEDERAL JUDGE to get a pension for failing to uphold the plain meaning of the words Contained in Art. 1, sec. 9-10! Mr. Kennedy’s ” ignorance plea” in NC V PACKINGHAM notwithstanding the smell test. There can be nothing ambigious, nor non culpable in congressional actions that overthrow JUDICIAL sole job to impose commitments to states Department of Corrections, Department of Public Safety for wrongdoing.

    • bluewall

      I wonder if this could be a stepping stone to shutting off social security checks or public assitance to register citizens… Also would be funny if that law maker gets caught being a sex offender and have his pensions turned off

  4. Kurtis Marble

    There are plenty of commentors on the site parrotting the use of BS statistics to include claiming that the reoffense rate of ”93%” and ”nearly 100%”. We should take the time to re-educate them by posting real verifiable stats with links to correct them.

  5. The Unforgiven

    Geez, here we go again…”convicted pedophiles.” Really?

  6. AJ

    5 U.S.C § 8312 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/8312) lists the offenses which prohibit an employee *and their survivors and/or beneficiaries*(!) from receiving a pension. The crimes are all pretty much tied to espionage, treason, sabotage, insurrection against the United States, improper sharing or intentional loss of certain highly classified documents, etc. So now conviction of a sexual offense rises to the same level as treason and sedition? Wow.

    That said, that one could lose a pension for criminal acts *with a nexus to one’s position* isn’t wholly objectionable to me. This case would apply. His job as a physician created a nexus where he was readily able to abuse. However suppose instead of a physician, he was a physicist. In this case, there would be no nexus between his position and his crime. IOW, he didn’t leverage his position to indulge in or facilitate the criminal behavior. Even then, I would say one losing 100% of the pension is wrong, and applying it retroactively is likewise wrong. Perhaps loss of pension while incarcerated and a lifetime prorating of the pension percentage, taking off the number of years incarcerated from years of service. Something along that line could–COULD–be palatable. As a side question, what would happen if the person manages to get pardoned? Does s/he then get to start receiving it? Retroactive? Still SOL?

    You know what, let’s just go the other route and say that any federal employee ever convicted of any offense loses his/her pension. Let’s expect perfection out of public servants. And we could also really achieve some cost savings, especially if we also ban them from other federal benefits like housing, SSA, SNAP, etc. Good thing we’re a forgiving culture….

    • Chris f

      I agree. If there is a relationship between the job, the crime, and the money then there should be a methid for denying it.

      However, if he just writes this up as retroactively taking away a benefit to all convicted of child sex crimes without any link, then I would say that is a ex post facto, Bill of Attainder and Equal Protection issue.

    • TS

      @AJ

      I’d go a step further and also nab those who were aware of his actions through whistleblower reports, etc and did not do anything about him just because they were short staffed. Why stop at this one person? You really want to make a point? You cast a wide web and bring them all in to face charges. Being complicit in something like this should also be noted as they have tried at PSU with Coach Sandusky.

      At the same time, if the good Senator wanted to make a big point, he would do what the military does and make retiring employees face a grade determination board to retain rank or be demoted if there is a problem at their current rank. That could severely cut into a pension back to when they last honorably served. Problem w/taking a whole pension is the family is hit too since they are probably relying on the civil servant pension to carry them mostly in retirement. While civil service employees aren’t ranked, they do have a grade hierarchy which can be used. However, there is a also a USG employee union (AFGE) that could make sure that this bill does not get passed committee or passed in its current iteration on the floor.

      Retroactive? No.

      BTW, there is no perfect public USG servant. They have to spend your taxes dollars regardless of need by the end of the FY or stand to lose it the next FY. It really is Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in the true sense when money spent is not needed to be spent. Of course, those USG black pens end up in cars, homes, purses, and briefcases all by themselves with no help of humans. Just saying…

      • AJ

        @TS:
        “Of course, those USG black pens end up in cars, homes, purses, and briefcases all by themselves with no help of humans.”
        —–
        Oh, you like Skilcraft products, too? 😀 BTW, they make blue now, too.

        =====
        Here’s a decent write-up about it from a few years back: http://askthelawyer.federaltimes.com/2015/03/17/resign-retire-or-be-fired/. What I find interesting is at the end the mention of Congress considering (in 2015) reduction or removal of benefits for VA employees. In other words, this latest salvo is not the first time some “smart” legislator has thought it nifty to use someone’s promised benefits as punishment.

        I may follow this latest idiocy just to see what other nincompoops co-sponsor or sign on to it. anyone want to take bets that Chris Smith introduces companion legislation in the House?

        • TS

          @AJ

          Skilcraft? What’s that? I know nuthin’. Hehehe

          Blue?! What’s the world coming to?!

          (They really did write in all conditions)

          @Worried in WI

          Good points. Depending on the civil service program enrolled in, there were two at one time depending on when one became enrolled, a full pension pull could be very hard. Pulling what one contributed could be hard as well as any investment gain made. I don’t think they could do what the military does with forfeiture of pay and allowances.

          @Marble & Gralphr

          You’re both right. That’s when the court battle begins.

  7. Gralphr

    It won’t pass. Theres no way singling out sex crimes for denial of a duly earned pension would pass muster with courts no matter how backwards the laws are.

    • Kurtis Marble

      @Gralphr Of course it will pass it re-punishes Sex Offenders (feel good + no fallout w/voters) & reduces government overhead (more money to waste on pork).

  8. Worried In Wisconsin

    They already have laws that deny other Federal benefits to anyone convicted of a sex offense, like housing benefits. Those things are different though, as they are denying something which the person doesn’t already have.

    In this case (or Social Security) they would be taking away something that the person already has an financial stake in. If a person fulfills his/her contract and retires, then that pension money is theirs (even if they can’t draw on it yet.) They have a financial stake in it. They earned it. To change the rules after the fact would be much harder than deny future benefits.

    That said, just because a law would be unconstitutional doesn’t necessarily stop them from enacting it. They do that all the time and then force us to challenge it in court. We get to spend millions trying to win a case, and then maybe get pennies back in the end.

    Unfortunately just because it would be illegal doesn’t mean they can’t get it done. Start the phone calls now.

  9. USA

    How does prohibiting someone from receiving their retirement help anyone? If the individual is down on their luck, they typically act out? Why don’t they prohibit illegal aliens from receiving federal assistance? This proposal is baseless, useless and nonsense!

  10. mike r

    Very well stated USA, nice to see real contribution. We all still have open arms for a fellow registrant, just never say or think you are superior to anyone on this site, and be respectful and it is all good my freind…

    • Josh

      I’m with @AJ & @Mike r, if you have something positive to contribute then I’m all ears. We ALL should have one vision and one goal, and that goal is the abolishment of sex related offense registries and equal treatment under the law for people convicted of such. We don’t need dissension on a forum that is one of the only safe places many of us can go to discuss & commiserate this shared experience & level of opposition we ALL face. Are we all angry & frustrated? Yes, I think to some degree we all are and it’s easy to release that anger on somebody perceived to be supporting the exact arguments that keep us on these registries. There’s no room here for that type of BULL$h!T…..differing opinions and interpretations are welcome as I have been wrong or factually incorrect in things I have posted and never once been attacked for it outside of @USA…..I can live with healthy disagreement. Thanks to EVERYBODY here for sharing your pain, experiences, opinions, and knowledge with me over the last several years. IT HELPS TO KNOW THAT I’M AM NOT ALONE IN THIS STRUGGLE!

  11. mike r

    So right Josh, I myself have been incredibly wrong on millions of occasions and I welcome any constructive feedback and to even be proven wrong, that way I can advance my knowledge and be better prepared if and when needed.

  12. America's Most Hated

    This will affect me. I served the US govt for 17 years. I don’t want to work until I am 85. I thought I would have a small pension. And you know this will pass. No one will vote to save the pensions of sex offenders. And then no one will sue in court because nobody cares for sex offenders. Every day I think of killing myself. And this brings it closer. I am trying so hard to live a life. And they keep taking away everything.

    • AJ

      @America’s Most Hated:
      “This will affect me. I served the US govt for 17 years.”
      —–
      As the Bill is written, no it will not affect you. The proposed amendment will only apply to offenses occurring after enactment: “(d)The offenses to which subsection (a)(3) applies are any offense—
      (1)within the purview of section 2241(c), 2243(a), or section 2244(a)(2) of title 18; and
      (2)for which the conduct constituting the offense is committed on or after the date of enactment of the Denying Pensions to Convicted Child Molesters Act of 2019, which shall include any offense that includes conduct that continued on or after the date of enactment of such Act.” (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s1264/text/is)

      It also appears it would only apply to the pensionable time after conviction for the offense: “if the individual was convicted of an offense described in section 8312(d), for the period after the conviction.”

      Finally, it also apparently only applies to contact offenses, intended or actual, and involving a minor or ward (that’s what §§ 2241, 2243, and 2244 cover). That would probably exclude a number of people (including Congressmen?).

      None of this makes me a fan of it in any way, and none of this will prevent the Good Doctor from continuing to get his pension. It does, however, seem to be very narrow in its hate.

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