Former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson will be able to keep his $49,500 annual pension, but to deter other elected officials who commit crimes while in office from reaping benefits at the expense of taxpayers, Maryland State Delegate Ron George is introducing legislation to reform Maryland's pension laws.
George said during a recent interview that the state's law is not clear regarding ongoing benefits for officials convicted of crimes.
"But what's happening is we have people who figure they are going to be found guilty, they resign, or, after they're out of office they get indicted and it's for a crime they did while in office, but they're still able to get their pension," George told 9NewsNow. He also questioned the logic in paying retirement and pension benefits the rest of their life to someone who blatantly indulged in criminal activity.
"I'm submitting a bill, legislation that will say that if you committed a crime while in office, even if you're found guilty afterwards, you're not convicted 'til afterwards, you lose the benefits that came with that office," George was further qouted as saying. "You've abused your oath of office basically is what it is saying. You do not benefit from it."
Johnson, who pleaded guilty this spring to pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a pay to play scheme while in office, is only able to keep his retirement package because he was convicted after his term expired late last year.