In a convoluted decision that is sure to keep the controversy surrounding the pension payments of former City Commissioner Debbie Lightsey alive, the City’s Independent Ethics Board dismissed a complaint filed by local businessman Erwin Jackson, but called for further investigation.
The Ethics Officer, Julie Meadows-Keefe, recommended the compliant be dismissed “without investigation because it fails to state a violation of the City’s Ethic Code”.
When presenting her recommendation to the Board, Meadows-Keefe stated “No factual investigation preceded this review, and therefore this recommendation does not reflect on the accuracy of the allegations of the Complaint”.
And while the Board voted unanimously to dismiss the complaint, they also directed the Ethics Officer to provide more information about deferred compensation and to determine if the scheme impacted the benefits given to Lightsey and any other city commissioners.
Our previous report on this issue can be viewed here.
The complaint addressed the calculation of Ms. Lightsey’s monthly pension payment on a yearly salary of approximately $57,000 when the City Charter clearly states commissioner salaries were set at approximately $36,000.
The pension paperwork obtained through a public record request, shown below, indicates the three high salaries used to calculate Lighsey’s monthly pension payments. The salaries range from $56,158 to $59,792.
However, the pension paperwork is in conflict with the Lightsey’s salaries as recorded by the City’s Human resource department.
The City’s human resource department provided TR with the salaries for all city commissioners from 2000-2010.
For the years that Lightsey’s monthly pension payment was calculated, 2006-2008, the document below shows that the salaries for city commissioners ranged between $34,507 and $35,963, which is consistent with the City Charter.
Why was Lightsey’s pension calculated using higher salary numbers? Stay tuned.