Thursday, October 8, 2009

Whither the Double Dippers?


You probably remember the big scam that Lincoln School Superintendent Frank Holman pulled earlier this year. He retired on June 30th, saying that there were health issues with family members. Then in August, he was rehired by the school board at his old salary of about $100,000. Holman explained that he had "retired" to take advantage of a teacher retirement law loophole that allowed him to leave the district for 30 days and draw retirement. The loophole was tightened by the legislature this year, but not in time to stop people like Holman who arranged to get rehired and draw a big salary while also draining the state retirement fund meant for retired teachers.

There are more than 2,000 people in Arkansas who have faked retirement to start drawing benefits then went back to work at big salaries. Their friends in high places have so far prevented their names being released, and most of them are not as proud of scamming the system as Frank Holman and the Lincoln School Board members seem to be.

What we do know, however, is where the Devious Double Dippers worked when they "retired" and where they now work while drawing salaries and retirement pay. Here is what we know about local double dippers.

This is where 161 of them worked when they "retired" and started drawing retirement payments:

Rogers School District - 60
Springdale School District - 22
Bentonville School District - 14
Lincoln School District - 14
Farmington School District - 11
Boston Mountain Coop - 10
West Fork School District - 9
Siloam Springs School District - 9
Elkin School District - 4
Greenland School District - 4
Pea Ridge School District - 3
Gravette School District - 1

Here's where 140 of the "retirees" have been hired and now are drawing both salaries and retirement benefits:

University of Arkansas - 31
NWACC -31
Northwest Technical Institute - 22
Boston Mountain Coop - 13
NWA Academy of Fine Arts - 11
Haas Hall Academy - 11
Benton County School of Arts - 10
Pea Ridge School District - 7
Decatur School District - 2
Bentonville School District - 1
Lincoln School District - 1

In addition to the sucking of assets by the double dippers, the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System's investments fell by more than $2 billion last fiscal year. Hopefully, the market will improve and the new law will limit the number of fake retirements, making sure that Arkansas school teachers who really retire will get the benefits they deserve.

9 comments:

  1. Corporate Party of ArkansasOctober 8, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    At CPA we strive to bring you the BEST of everything.
    Where would our schools be today if experience was
    tossed out like last week's salad?

    Surely you realize these public servants, dedicated as they are, share the same outstanding goals for Arkansas as CPA which will always be Better Living Through Higher Output.

    After serving YOUR CPA faithfully for so many years we decided it was time all 161 dedicated members received a raise. But raising pay means raising taxes and that is ONE SIN God will never forgive.
    Under. No. Circumstances.

    Therefore some of our Division D members in the Arkansas legislature made special arrangements for these dedicated educators to draw a wee bit more than their normal schedule of payments would permit.

    Cash flow problems will always be with us. So with that in mind hopefully you lesser ones in the normal, non-governmental workplace will realize the value in what has transpired.

    Yours for a Higher Educated Workforce
    I.M. Wright, acting director.

    .

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  2. You might want to invest in a fact checker...if you're going to spout off at least get it correct.

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  3. Bogus and poorly researched. Typical.

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  4. You single out Dr. Frank Holman as a villain when in reality he is a decent, honest man.

    Do you know him? I do. Folks in Lincoln are glad to have him.

    I'll be the first to argue the rules of the retirement system are screwed up, but don't try to paint Dr. Holman as a con man or thief for following the rules in the best way for his family.

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  5. If Dr. Holiman is such an honest guy, why did he lie about his reason for taking retirement? Why didn't he just be honest and say up front that he had a chance to scam the system without breaking the law?

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  6. Holman and all the others in public education abused the public trust. Retirement pay is supposed to be income for people who retire, and you would think these trusted educators would know the plain meaning of the word. Instead, they just look at it as a source of money to fatten their wallets while continuing to draw a salary for the same job. Decent, honest people don't do that.

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  7. So much for authority figues setting an ethical example for students. These "educators" are setting a good example for future Bernie Madoffs who will be looking for loopholes to get rich on other people's retirement accounts.

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  8. It begins to look like the system was set up to be scammed. Don't you think whomever left that gaping loophole knew what they were doing.

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  9. Wasn't David Malone in charge at ATRS when all of this shady stiff was made possible? Doesn't the legislative joint retirement committee require a report from ATRS signing off on it before it goes to the floor?

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