WREG Investigation Leads to Proposed Ban on Pension “Double Dipping”

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(Memphis) There could soon be a ban on local government workers that retire from one entity with pension benefits and draw a salary by working another.

“We've got tax payers in the city of Memphis that are paying $100,000 plus salaries, and they're also paying for people who may have come from other county government or city government, or MLGW and they're getting a big time pension,” said Memphis city councilman Kemp Conrad. who introduced the ordinance in a council committee meeting Tuesday.

In a February On Your Side Investigation, Stephanie Scurlock highlighted city workers like Memphis Mayor A C Wharton that draws $76,000 in pension benefits from the county where he worked as a chief public defender and served as mayor.

All the while he is getting $160,000 salary for serving at the mayor of Memphis.

“When people read about this and see it on your show like the special that Stephanie did, it's just an example of a government that is out of control,” said Conrad.

He proposed the ordinance that would ban pension double dipping.

“So if someone who is getting a full pension from the city if Memphis goes to work for one of those entities their pension would be reduced while they're working by the amount of that salary,” explained Conrad.

And there were several council members on board with the plan Tuesday.

“It's very unfair and the first time I've ever agreed with Kemp Conrad about anything,” said Councilwoman Janis Fullilove.

“The tax payers are being given the shaft,” she added.