CalPERS Board Restores $99,000 Pension for CHP Officer Convicted of Molesting Daughters

The CalPERS Board of Administration voted Wednesday to restore the $99,000-per-year pension of a retired California Highway Patrol officer who was convicted of sexually molesting his two daughters. Johnnie Swaim, 56, of Imperial, was convicted of four felonies by a jury in 2013 in Imperial County Superior Court for molesting the two girls when each was under 10 years old. He maintained he was innocent. Swaim was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 2016, while in corrections department custody, he filed for retirement based on his last day of work for the CHP in 2011, and started receiving a pension, then worth about $93,300 per year.

CalPERS reduced his benefit last year to about $14,000, wiping out service credit for the time he worked after the date of first felony conviction, which CalPERS identified as in 1997. The retirement system cited a state law that prevents public employees who commit felonies in the course of their work from continuing to accrue pensions. Swaim appealed, arguing that his convictions weren’t work-related. An administrative law judge sided with him last month, saying that while his crimes were “despicable,” they weren’t connected to his work as a police officer.

On Wednesday, the board voted without discussion to accept the judge’s ruling and restore Swaim’s pension. With cost-of-living increases that have been applied since 2016, it will be worth about $99,000 per year.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee

Comments

  1. Philip Gallanders says

    Another example of the unfair, detestable practices of our bureaucratic employees.
    They will break laws, ignore proper procedures, show complete indifference to doing their jobs well and will dodge all responsibility for their actions.

    Those same bureaucrats will however, impose their rules and consequences for violating them, on everyone else

  2. Interesting to be reminded how much of our taxes go to public servi employees’ retirement benefits rather than to actual services for the public.

  3. Just one more reason I’m getting out of this state. Maybe New Zealand.

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