Given how horrible his crimes were, most people weren’t surprised in 2012 when it was announced that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky lost his state pension benefits. At the time, Pennsylvania’s State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) ruled that Sandusky’s crimes made him ineligible to receive his roughly $4,900 per month pension.
But in a ruling written on Thursday and made public yesterday, hearing examiner Michael Bangs argues against that decision. Bangs says that since Sandusky’s convictions took place after he was retired, he is entitled by law to keep receiving his pension payments.
“The Pennsylvania forfeiture law is simply not applicable to SERS' members who commit crimes after they have begun receiving their pensions, which is really what SERS is attempting to do in this case," Bangs wrote, according to the Associated Press. "The courts simply cannot extend the current law beyond any rational interpretation of its current form."
Both the SERS and Sandusky’s legal team will be given time to respond to Bangs' recommendation. After the responses are heard, the state pension board will decide whether Sandusky’s pension will be reinstated.
If the board grants Sandusky his pension, Pennsylvania taxpayers will be on the hook for payments of $4,900 per month both going forward and backdated to October 2012. Sandusky is currently serving a 30-60 year prison sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys.