Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Medical disability incompatible with highly stressful law enforcement job?

Pondering a pension - Worcester Telegram & Gazette - telegram.com: "The approval of a tax-free disability pension for Marian J. McGovern, the recently retired commander of the Massachusetts State Police, calls into question an apparent contradiction in the state’s retirement system. Ms. McGovern, 58, capped a 33-year career by serving three years as head of the state police, a position that earned her $209,000 annually and qualified her for a $163,000 annual public pension free of state taxes. Now, because she has qualified for a disability pension, Ms. McGovern will also be exempt from federal taxes, meaning she will save about $25,000 a year. . . Ms. McGovern’s heart condition was diagnosed in 2009, before she was appointed as the state’s top cop. That condition was apparently not an impediment to her serving in a stressful and high-pay position; yet, now that she is retired, it seems to have qualified her for a more lucrative pension classification. In a similar case, two years ago we questioned the decision of another former head of the state police, Thomas Foley, to run for sheriff of Worcester County even as he was collecting a full disability pension. In both cases, it seems to us that a medical disability is simply incompatible with full-time service in a highly responsible and highly stressful law enforcement job. . . . "

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