Politics makes bad law | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Politics makes bad law

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 6:06 AM

John Brummett explains this morning how George Hopkins, director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, is struggling with past political interference -- in the form of contradictory laws -- in trying to sort out the great double-dip scandal. The legislative interference -- aided by a complicitous past agency director -- makes it difficult to right past wrongs, it might turn out.

There was a law on the books the last 12 years that required certain retirees to have pensions reduced if they took new jobs within the ATRS system. The law wasn't enforced, to the tune of millions in excess pension payments. The proper course, it seems to me, is still to attempt to enforce the bright letter law until a court says it can't be enforced. Hopkins, though he has suspended collection efforts for the time being, doesn't rule that out. He's seeking legal opinions and says he may seek a declaratory court judgment on the issue.

I detailed Hopkins' legal questions yesterday on this item.

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