Society

Retired Officer Competes in Ironman Races While Collecting Workers' Comp Benefits

| by Lina Batarags

The Ironman competition is often considered the ultimate test of fitness and endurance. Raising eyebrows and questions was a medically-retired police officer who reportedly completed an Arizona Ironman last November, but who, it was revealed, had retired from the police force with full benefits.

According to WFSB, every month, former officer Audrey Glemba, 49, receives a compensation check for an injury that she claims “prevented her from doing her job.”

Glemba reportedly suffered a back and knee injury in 1995 during an officer training program. In the next seven years she was promoted twice: to sergeant in 1996, and, in 2002, to supervisor of the Dobson Bicycle Squad.

In the span of the 14 years between her injury and her retirement, Glemba racked up an impressive count of completed races. Of the 29 races she competed in, ten were triathlons.

Glemba sought medical retirement in 2008, at which point she was reportedly under internal investigation for a series of incidents in which she and fellow officers took pictures of themselves with homeless and disabled people. The officers allegedly ridiculed these photos with “disparaging and offensive remarks.”

The investigation lasted from 2007 to 2008, and, in December of 2008, Glemba was fired.

However, Glemba appealed the termination, completing all paperwork accurately and thoroughly. The pension board, which was aware of her athletic feats, approved her medical retirment, noting that Glemba was “unable to perform the essential functions of her job."

Glemba settled back into her job, only to leave shortly thereafter – and this time, she was able to claim full benefits when she left.

Two years later, Glemba also filed for and was approved for worker’s compensation. This means that, in addition to the benefits she is receiving from her medical retirement benefits, Arizona taxpayers are paying more than $500 a month to support the endurance athlete.

Now, after adding another Ironman race to her name last November, Glemba maintains that she has nothing to prove.

“This case has been tried to conclusion,” she said. “I’m not going to try it on television.”

In the state of Arizona alone, nearly 1,400 public safety employees are currently receiving medical retirement benefits. Most of these cases have been approved by only one doctor, raising questions on whether closer scrutiny needs to be applied when assessing these applications.

Sources: http://www.americanownews.com, www.wfsb.com, http://athlinks.com/

Photo Source: www.wfsb.com