Monday, July 10, 2017

Double Dipped


  • Here's a look at double dippers--who receive payments from PERS and still get paid by the County. The persons making the most from this are Judge Robert Teuton and Appeals Court Judge Michael Gibbons. [RJ]
  • Civil bench bar meeting tomorrow July 11 at noon. [eighthjdcourt blog]

38 comments:

  1. I'm not really outraged by the double dippers. Mostly in awe. Well, done!

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  2. As a taxpayer, I'm outraged! Teuton's response to the reporter was complete BS

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    1. I think pensions are doomed to fail, but I'm not mad at Teuton at all. One of the reasons you take a shitty-paying government job is because of the pension. Everyone I know plans to retire the day they can collect a pension and then go do something else to supplement their pension. For example, I have a friend that really liked his public job, but when he crunched the numbers it made no fiscal sense to stay on. It's a reason why so many retired judges work for JAMs.

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    2. Exactly, 10:23 AM. Plus, the double dipping isn't actually creating any additional cost to taxpayers anyway, so there's no reason to be "outraged". If Teuton weren't double dipping, we taxpayers would still be paying the same amount for his pension and the same amount to have someone else do his current job (judge).

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    3. Well, no. Generally, if you're still working for the state and drawing a salary, you aren't collecting a pension (yet). This only works because the Judicial Retirement System is separate from PERS.

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    4. Actually it doesn't exactly cost same thing. Without the ability to double dip, many long time (expensive employees) would stay put continuing to work for years after they have already maxed out their maximum pension percentage (saving the governmental entity the PERS contribution) or will leave to go into the private sector where the governmental entity can replace them with lower cost employees and get the added benefit of increased tax revenue (gross receipts, unemployment, business, etc.) Additionally, in the private sector, these employees would be contributing to social security (FICA), helping to shore up that system.

      For the person that called the government jobs "shitty-paying", you haven't done the math. Compare your "prized" private sector job salary with the true value of the "shitty-paying" government job. To calculate the difference, the "shitty-paying" government job gets: Base Salary + PERS pension (2.5% of average of highest 36 months income [3.419 in a judge] for each year of service payable for life (with COLA's of up to 4% per year) + all government holidays off (paid), No billable requirements, + Paid vacation time (During the first 2 years of County employment eligible full-time permanent employees earn vacation credits at the rate of 3.08 vacation hours for each biweekly pay period. Employees who have been employed by the County for more than 2 years earn 4.62 hours vacation leave per pay period. Additional amounts of leave are given after completion of 8 and 15 years of service.), + Sick time (eligible employees receive 3.7 hours of sick leave for each biweekly pay period. Employees who have been employed by the County for 10 years or longer will receive an additional .92 of sick leave per pay period.)+ Deferred compensation benefit, + IRS Section 529 savings plan, + Low cost short and long term disability policies, + Low cost long term care policy, + No 6.2% of wages Social Security tax (FICA), + Possibility of student loan discharge (tax free) after 10 years of work, + Low cost health insurance coverage ($42 per month for single; Maximum of $222 per month for family plan [just spouse or just kids less]).

      Maximum pension is 75% of 36 month pay average for "Shitty-paid" government job (30 years of employment).

      Maximum Social Security benefit in 2017 is $2,639 (to achieve maximum benefit need to contribute based on maximum taxable earnings ($127,200 in 2017) for 35 years of employment.

      Assuming a 25 y/o worker is considering both private or government employment and is offered 80k in government job or 127.2k in private sector, the starting difference, without consideration of the value of the government employment benefits, $9943 (Private) vs. $6667 (Gov't). Assuming a 25% income tax rate, the difference is reduced by $819 (taxes saved) for total difference of $2457 per month.

      After 30 years (now 55 y/o employee), government employee can now retire and begin to receive pension immediately. Their "Shitty-paying" government job would provide a pension benefit of $5000 per month.

      The private employee still has a minimum of 7 more years until they can retire under Social Security for a reduced benefit (30% reduction) receiving $1847.30 per month.

      The "Shitty-paying" government worker will receive $300k in pension benefits before the private employee receives a single dime in Social Security benefits. Thereafter, assuming the private employee starts receiving at 62 instead of waiting for full benefits at age 67, the government employee will receive $5000 per month vs. the private employee's $1847.20 for the remainder of their respective lives. Both retirements have COLA provisions so the difference in the COLA will further the spread as it compounds.

      Looking at the numbers, the government job doesn't look so bad....

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    5. Before anyone complains about the math above, the $9943/mo for the private employee is calculated as: $127,200/12 = $10,600. Less the 6.2% FICA tax of $657.2 = 9942.80/mo.

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    6. The math is actually even more in favor of the government worker. While the private sector worker needs 35 years of maximum earnings to achieve the maximum Social Security benefit shown above, the government worker only needs 36 months at the 80K level shown and a total of 30 years of employment at any pay level. Working some of the years as a lifeguard while in college at 20k a year would result in the same final pension as working 30 years at 80k as long as that employee ended with the 30 years and 36 months at 80k.

      Additionally, if you spread the 300k in benefits the government employee will receive between ages 55 and 62 over the 30 years of employment it reduces the monthly spread between the private and government employee pay by an additional $833 per month. The spread is therefore really about $1624 per month between the 2 jobs.

      Is it worth $1624 per month to have an assurance of a 40 hour a week, fairly safe job?

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    7. I guess it's all relative, but I'm a junior attorney and I make double what Steve Wolfson does, and quadruple what I could make if I went to the DA's office. I stand by my assertion that DAs get paid shit.

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    8. Oh and that government employee is going home at a reasonable time every night. I do not go home at a reasonable time every night.

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    9. @ 12:25:

      Congrats on your success! Per TransparantNevada, Wolfson makes..

      WOLFSON, STEVEN
      DIST ATTORNEY
      Regular pay: $195,568.64
      Overtime pay: $0.00
      Other pay: $0.00
      Total pay: $195,568.64
      Total benefits: $68,489.09
      Total pay & benefits: $264,057.73

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    10. That junior attorney who is pulling down $520k-- good for you!

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    11. Thanks man!

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    12. What firm can I go to where I can make $500k as a junior attorney?

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    13. Ackerman, joking.

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  3. There's been a fair amount of discussion in recent days as to whether Alexis Plunkett is the victim of a witch hunt, and whether the authorities are over-charging her and whether the media and public is treating her too unfairly, etc.

    I'm not taking a position on that one way or the other in my comments, but I am perplexed that she and her supporters seem to repeatedly use the term "witch hunt" to describe her situation.

    I have always viewed the term witch hunt to mean that a powerful entity(public or private)is unfairly targeting people of a certain classification, or who hold certain beliefs, etc. That does not apply to this situation where an isolated individual is being pursued(fairly or unfairly) based on a unique set of circumstances.

    Also, before she lashes out and says she will not let the media dictate her personal relationships, she should keep in mind that the media wants to do nothing of that sort. They in fact want her to continue in her current relationship with the Defendant as they believe it makes for interesting, and salacious, reading.

    Just like the term "witch hunt" is being misused, the term "whistle blowers" is often misused. A couple years back the media granted the title of "whistle blowers" to the Assistant District Attorneys who exposed some of Judge Steve Jones' behaviors. I always understood "whistle blowers" to be a term applied to highly principled
    people, who at great personal and professional cost to themselves, incur
    the wrath of their employer and/or the large organization they belong to, by taking a highly unpopular stand to expose corruption, criminal activity, etc.

    But in this case, the Judge was badly wounded from a professional stand point, was on his way out, and the so-called "whistle blowers" were actually playing it fairly safe by exposing what they did, and they were pretty much immediately admired by most for doing so, and apparently had the full support of the D.A.'s office.

    So, I think the media needs to be more careful and understand the true meaning, and historical significance, of the potentially inflammatory terms they use. And this applies to Ms. Plunkett as well. Whether she is being treated unfairly or not, or whether the authorities have over-charged in this case, are debatable points. But in no universe is it a "witch hunt."

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    1. Maybe its a hunt for that massive tattoo on her leg. Nice!

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    2. Haven't seen it. What is the design?

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    3. Massive thigh tattoo. She was kind enough to share some leg and lots of ink on her firm Facebook page.

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    4. Anyone got any guesses? Can't for the life of me figure out what the heck that is, other than maybe something abstract...

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  4. If Alexis Plunkett was charged with violating NRS 212.165, the statute does not fit and she may have a defense. Having said that, they could have barred her from the jail, gave her a warning, and or set some additional conditions. The use of multiple felonies is like using an elephant gun to swat a fly. Overkill. On the other hand, her conduct was questionable. But was it criminal? Clearly they are making an example out of her and anyone who lets an inmate use a phone under any circumstances is making an egregious error.

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    1. Exactly my thoughts. I don't believe the statute applies to those just in the county jail, I think it only applies to "prisoners," meaning those sentenced to prison. But what do I know? I'm only a REAL criminal defense attorney as opposed to one who just represents one or two people.

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    2. The indictment states a violation of NRS 212.165, but it also identifies it as a D felony. I think the charges are totally justifiable as a violation of NRS 212.165(1), but that's only an E felony. The only D felonies under NRS 212.165 apply to imprisoned felons or people charged with a felony. Alexis was neither. So which language controls here? The statute named in the indictment, or the mention of the felony level?

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    3. Scratch that. 212.165(1) only applies to prisons or places where NDOC sends them. They weren't in a prison, only a jail, so 212.165(1) doesn't apply. But Aiding and Abetting, under 195.020, subjects her to the same charge.

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    4. But is an inmate a "prisoner"? It also talks about the department of corrections. I know that it discusses "jail," but then says where prisoners are held. Those who are sentenced to NDOC are sometimes held at CCDC for various hearings (e.g. PCR or on other charges), so it still seems not applicable to Arevalo who was not a prisoner, but merely an inmate.

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    5. NRS 208.085. Prisoner is anyone in custody.

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    6. The case against Plunkett appears to be convoluted. If anyone has the indictments, please post them here. Don't have access. Essentially the DA is making a case based on policy. But for a criminal prosecution to pass muster, the statute charged must be clear and the conduct must fit precisely beyond a reasonable doubt. This case will put enormous pressure for a District Court Judge to decide whether the case proceeds to a jury or gets knocked out. This is a tough situation for a lawyer to be put in to challenge a creative application of the statute. At this point, we have not seen all the evidence (discovery) and the supposed surveillance video. If jury convicts, she then has to rely on the appellate courts to correct the mess.

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    7. If you're an attorney, you just need to register for access. Takes a couple of minutes. I paid no fee. But here you go: http://imgur.com/a/juv4O

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    8. It's not particularly convoluted. Client is in jail. Client is, by statute, not permitted to possess a cell phone unless authorized. Client was never authorized, thus, any possession is a misdemeanor if awaiting charges for a misdo, or a felony if awaiting charges for a felony. As it turns out, Client was charged with a felony, so possession of cell phone is a felony for him. Not a stretch to say that actively using the phone to communicate with family / friends constitutes possession or control. The police report tracked the phone records of the calls made during his visitation to Attorney to family.

      Anyone who aids or abets him in committing the crime is a principal, and can be charged as a principal. Attorney provided the phone. Attorney gave him access. without Attorney's aid, the crime could not have been carried out. Thus, Attorney is being charged as a principal. Attorney is in deep shit, because all of the calls are traceable and easily connected to people who should not have been in communication with Client during Attorney's visitation. This has nothing to do with Attorney's relationship with Client. But if you're going to provide an someone with a phone 10 times, you're going to get charged. Once, and she might have received a courtesy warning. But consistently flaunting the rules is going to get the book thrown at you. And no, I'm not a DA. Not even a criminal defense attorney. But I can read statutes and reports.

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    9. Doesn't she have a valid defense about the content of the calls. If the calls were on speaker phone and they were trying to raise money for bail, how is that a crime?

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    10. Secondarily if he was present for calls but not actually holding the telephone, was he actually in "possession" of a cellular devide?

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    11. Why would she? It's the possession or control by the prisoner which is the criminal act. He could be talking to his grandmother on her deathbed, and it would be a crime. If she spoke to someone, that's fine. He can't. If she puts the phone on speaker and fiddles with her nails while he chats with his homies, that's a crime because now he's using the phone.

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    12. If it was no longer in her exclusive custody or control? Absolutely. Constructive possession is still possession.

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    13. i wish the people (assuming there are people besides Alexis) positing theories about how the conduct might be defensible if this or that would just stop. Read the damn rules. If you aren't able to comprehend, please stop posting. Or go post on Alexis' FB page where you belong.

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  5. Anyone know what is going on with Jim Rosenberger, who I always thought was a pretty well-respected attorney going back to the Pico Mitchell Rosenberger days? On May 23rd, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a one year suspension. Then on June 14th, the State Bar filed another Discipline Complaint against him. I cant believe that the State Bar didn't know that there was another discipline case coming down the pipe. But how do you get 2 discipline cases simultaneously or back to back?

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    1. I always thought he was kind of a prick, but nonetheless an established and pretty well-respected guy. Makes you wonder what is going on.

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    2. I am sure the Bar knew about the prior discipline. I believe once a formal hearing has been held, and/or recommendations have been sent to the Supreme Court, matters can no longer be consolidated. Based on the timeline, I would think that the suspension has been sitting with the Supreme Court long before the second grievance got to the bar.

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    3. The guy is an ass.

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