MARCH 04, 2009
Fresh from completing a prison sentence for corruption, one of south Florida’s most prominent Democrat politicians has been stripped of the lucrative public pension he insists he’s entitled to.
Ken Jenne, a former county prosecutor and state senator who for a decade headed Florida’s biggest sheriff’s department, believes his $134,500 yearly state pension should not be affected by his crimes. In 2007, the veteran politician pleaded guilty to tax evasion and mail fraud for illegally taking money and other favors from vendors who did business with the Broward County Sheriff’s office, which has 6,3000 employees and an annual budget of $700 million.
Jenne admitted in federal court that as Broward County Sheriff he accepted more than $151,500 in improper payments and benefits and that some of the money was funneled through his secretaries. One vendor even made payments on the sheriff’s imported luxury convertible. Jenne served a 10-month federal prison sentence and is currently serving a year of probation.
Citing a state law that says public officials can lose their pension after a felony conviction, Florida officials stripped Jenne of his pension last year. Jenne appealed in court and this week a state judge upheld the decision, ruling that it would "defy logic" to allow Jenne to reap the benefits of the state’s retirement system after breaking the law.
Jenne had argued that his crimes did not rise to a level that warranted the denial of the six-figure yearly pension.
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