Political show over top trooper's retirement
BATON ROUGE - A lawsuit could block the controversial retirement increase for La. State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson and another trooper.
Both were given a $30,000 dollar a year retirement increase in a quick and quiet change made at the end of the legislative session. Lawmakers claim they did not know what they were voting for when the increase was passed.
Edmonson refused to accept the benefit once the package became public.
"I was boondoggled," Senator Dan Claitor said in front of the state retirement board Thursday.
Edmonson is a member of the board but did not show up to the meeting.
Before the meeting was done, Claitor filed a lawsuit to stop the benefits before they go into effect.
Claitor voted for the measure. He said he like many other lawmakers did so unknowingly.
"In this particular case, it wasn't germane. It wasn't published. It wasn't a single object. It's got a problem," Claitor said.
The benefits would take money out of retired state troopers benefits.
"This was an area that shouldn't be touched. Retirement benefits to retirees is really serious issue because for most of them it's their only source of income," retired state trooper Robert Landry said.
Edmonson said in a letter he did not attend the board meeting because he did not want to be a distraction and he did not want to seem as if he was intimidating other board members.
The board agreed not to provide a defense against Claitor's lawsuit.
The Attorney General must now decide if he wants to defend the retirement increase in court. If he does not, the law will be repealed.
"We're going to kill this puppy dog dead," State Treasurer John Kennedy said. "I'm sorry it happened but it is what it is."