CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - A former Caldwell Police Chief and newly elected City Councilman has resigned from the council weeks after being sworn in to keep his retirement benefits.
Chris Allgood wrote in his letter of resignation that if he accepted the City Council position he would lose the retirement benefits he earned while serving the police department, The Idaho Press-Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1PtsEnY).
“Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am forced to vacate my seat on the Caldwell City Council,” Allgood wrote in his letter of resignation. “I worked hard to become a Councilman and the people of Caldwell supported me. This is not something I am doing willingly.”
His resignation is effective Friday.
Allgood received a letter dated Jan. 22 notifying him that his retirement benefits would be stopped immediately.
A spokesman for the Public Employees Retirement System of Idaho said he could not comment on Allgood’s case.
“We are bound by law to not discuss member issues,” said Kelly Cross, a spokesman for PERSI.
According to PERSI rules, retirees may work in the private sector without it affecting their benefits, but there are restrictions for work with other PERSI entities. The law also says that early PERSI retirees - anyone who is younger than 65 or 60 years old for police and firefighters - are required to take a 90-day break between retirement and re-employment with the same employer.
Allgood was 52 at the time of the election and became re-employed by the city without the break. He retired from the police department in December and was sworn in on Jan. 4.
Caldwell spokeswoman Holly Cook says no immediate action will be taken to fill Allgood’s seat. According to municipal code, the mayor will nominate a replacement councilor and the City Council will appoint a new member to fill a vacancy.
“We don’t want to jump the gun,” Cook said. “The city attorneys are looking at everything to see if there is a solution to this.”
Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, https://www.idahopress.com
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