Well, here’s what we’ve been able to deduce so far, at least until people in L.A. stopped answering our questions today:
–Former City Manager Bud Ovrom is apparently collecting on a PERS pension from his old Burbank employment as well as accrued PERS credits from previous public employers.
— Because he went to work for a non-PERS covered L.A. job directly after “retiring” from Burbank, he’s reportedly been able to collect on his PERS pension at the same time he earns a salary.
— During the last eight years Ovrom has worked in three different L.A. positions, each of which earns a separate pension benefit. But people are clamming up now, so we can’t totally verify this as yet.
–According to numbers supplied by Ron Kaye in a two-year-old Daily News column, Ovrom is now collecting on at least one of those L.A. pensions. His payout is over $175,000 a year, but it can’t be determined yet where it’s all coming from (Burbank PERS money?) and no one in L.A. will tell us anything.
Of course, you’d naturally think that this would be a huge story for the L.A. Times and their minions at the Leader. After all, could there be a more egregious case of double-dipping going on in the entire state?
But Ovrom– from what information we’ve gathered– is actually double-double dipping, because he’s collecting aggregate public pensions on top of his current full-time public salary. The guy’s still working!
Nice deal, eh? And you thought public pensions were just for the elderly.
It gets worse.
Apparently, these L.A. agencies are under different pension plans. This set-up allows favored employees to be hired around and avoid deduction situations where one pension gets reduced because of another.
For instance, a PERS employee cannot collect two separate big pensions at the same time if they’ve had two different PERS jobs in the past. Instead, PERS aggregates the credits into one amount. PERS also won’t allow double dipping if you have a separate STRS pension, either. That would be if, say, a retired teacher had also been a teacher’s aide at one time under covered school employment elsewhere.
But separate public employment under different covered agencies than PERS or STRS has no such restrictions, from what we can discover. So under this loophole Ovrom can get his PERS pension unmolested by his L.A. one.
And only elected officials and employees in non-PERS covered jobs are allowed to collect both their salary and a full pension at the same time. PERS won’t allow full pensions + a new public-sector PERS job. Nor will STRS. The pension deductions for such a combination are major, and only a few exceptions are allowed, such as critically required job skills.
Now will anyone say anything about this public pension extravaganza? They haven’t so far. That’s because Ovrom is one of them— he’s the big land-use guy for LA- and so being such an agreeable part of the team they’re certainly not going to make waves for him.
It’s much easier for them to go after the little guys about their extravagant public pensions– like those lazy teachers.
The Leader always loves to talk about getting a hold of this Burbank bonus information that they think will establish a huge case of little-guy nepotism and favoritism, which in fact it won’t. But when it comes to the financial antics of the big boys– such as Glendale’s statistically obvious bonus plan for its management employees only— they look the other way.
This headline says it all:
Deputy Mayor Bud Ovrom to ease building and safety permits
Robert “Bud” Ovrom, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s deputy mayor for business development, was tapped Tuesday to take over as general manager of the city’s Department of Building and Safety…
Before being named deputy mayor, Ovrom was general manager of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency. Prior to that, he worked 18 years as the city manager of Burbank, where he was credited with creating a business-friendly atmosphere that spurred development of its entertainment and media districts.
“This is the perfect position for Bud,” Villaraigosa said. “He is a long-standing and, most importantly, an upstanding public servant with the expertise needed to support Los Angeles’ businesses.”