Forgiveness restores the policeman to Job; Inequality of teachers’ pensions
For several years, the âawakenedâ Democratic majority in the General Assembly has been trying to erase numerous criminal convictions, either by statutory means or by facilitating pardons. This was done on the mistaken premise that criminal records are the main obstacles for former offenders as they seek to find employment and housing.
But the biggest hurdles for ex-offenders are their lack of education and job skills – more than ever as tens of thousands of jobs in Connecticut are begging.
At the same time, the âawakenedâ Democratic majority has sought to increase accountability in police work, adopting new standards for police and services.
Last week, an investigative report by Bill Cummings of the Connecticut Post revealed that the two goals have proven to be contradictory in the most ironic way.
In 2013, according to the Post, a Bridgeport police officer was charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend and pushing her during the incident. The Bridgeport Department stripped the officer of his police powers but kept him in the force to do administrative work. Two years later, the officer was convicted in a plea bargain that reduced the charges to threats and a breach of public order.
Whereupon the Bridgeport Police Department succeeded in delaying the officer’s mandatory state certification, allowing him to remain employed long enough for him to obtain a pardon from the State Board of Pardons and Parole in October 2020, quashing his convictions. Then, last May, the State Police Officer Training and Standards Council recertified him as an officer, allowing him to return to his old pace – demolishing responsibility.
A member of the Police Standards Board, former State Representative Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, who now teaches criminal justice at New Haven University, told the Post: felt extremely uncomfortable doing this, “but forgiveness removed the discretion of the board.
“It’s the kind of thing that makes people scratch their heads and wonder what the standards really are for police officers,” Lawlor said. âOrdinary citizens will see this and say, ‘I don’t believe it. “
In fact, ordinary citizens who have lived in Connecticut for a while will easily believe it. They can also understand that when the government destroys the responsibility of some people, other people can profit as well and ultimately there can be no responsibility for anyone, just a lot of political correctness fog coming down to maintain the public. in ignorance of the crime.
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Connecticut public school teachers’ pensions are largely based on salary and longevity. Salaries differ among municipal school systems, and the state government, not the municipal government, pays all pension expenses. As a result, the state government is investing more in the retirement system of well-paid teachers, who tend to work in more prosperous cities who can afford to pay teachers more than poorer cities.
Thus, the teachers’ pension system subsidizes rich cities more than poor cities, which is unfair. A study group is agitating again on this subject.
Former Governor Dannel P. Malloy proposed to start charging municipalities for a significant portion of the state’s teacher pension expenses. Governor Lamont proposed to charge a much lower amount. These charges would reduce state government costs, but would not make the system fairer, even if it required municipalities to increase their property taxes. The General Assembly did not follow.
Another solution is possible. Starting with the new hires, state law could standardize teachers’ pensions, granting the same benefits to all teachers around the world, adjusted for longevity, regardless of salary and municipality of use. The new pension calculation rate could be based on the average salary of teachers in the state.
This would increase pension benefits for teachers in poor municipalities and reduce them for teachers in wealthy municipalities. Voila – perfect equality and fairness.
But fairness doesn’t matter a lot in Connecticut when government workers can be inconvenienced. In addition, the injustice of the teachers’ pension system hardly matters anyway, as no adjustment to the education funding systems in the state has ever had an impact on learning. students.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut.