Not Cease from Exploration

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Scranton - Fraud or Stupidity?

It was recently revealed that six Scranton municipal retirees have been receiving double pension payments.

You can read about it HERE.

According to the Scranton Times, the total of the overpayments exceeds $474,000.

Now how, you may ask, could this get any worse?  Well, this being Scranton city government, it actually does.  Again, according to the Scranton Times, one of the double payment recipients happens to be the wife of a gentleman who was, at the time the payments were authorized, president of the pension board.  Citation HERE.

Yes, apparently the president of the pension board wasn't aware that his own wife was receiving a double pension payment OR he was aware but yet didn't know that she was ineligible for the double payment.

Let those facts sink in for a moment.

Done pondering?

Here's the bottom line:  Either someone (or "ones") committed fraud in this case by misrepresenting the eligibility of these individuals OR this was a case of gross stupidity/extremely poor administration on the part of the plan administrators.  Either outcome speaks VOLUMES about the governance of the City of Scranton.

Regardless, there needs to be an investigation by an impartial law enforcement agency into this whole mess.  That could be the FBI or it could be the State Police.  What it shouldn't be is anyone connected with politics (including the county District Attorney's Office) or governance in northeastern Pennsylvania.  This is not a minor administrative issue by any means, especially when viewed against the backdrop of Scranton's extremely under-funded pension plans.  It also begs the following question:  What other "mistakes" have been made with regards to pension payments?

Is Scranton actually even capable of self-governance?

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