When Capt. Tia Morris turned 50, after about three decades in the Los Angeles Police Department, she became eligible to retire with nearly 90% of her salary.
Like many cops and firefighters in her position, the decision to keep working was a financial no-brainer, thanks to a program that allowed her to nearly double her pay by keeping her salary while also collecting her pension.
It’s stealing, but in the Police State, it’s OK because, well, after all Tia is a hero right?
A month after Morris entered the program, her husband, a detective, joined too. Their combined income for four years in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan was just shy of $2 million, city payroll records show.
The city didn’t benefit much from the Morrises’ experience: They both filed claims for carpal tunnel syndrome and other cumulative ailments about halfway through the program. She spent nearly two years on disability and sick leave; he missed more than two years, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of city payroll data.
The couple spent at least some of their paid time off recovering at their condo in Cabo San Lucas and starting a family theater production company with their daughter, according to Tia Morris’ Facebook posts and her self-published autobiography.
They are, in the end, simply criminals who stole from taxpayers.
The Morrises are far from alone. In fact, they’re among hundreds of Los Angeles police and firefighters who have turned the DROP program — which has doled out more than $1.6 billion in extra pension payments since its inception in 2002 — into an extended leave at nearly twice the pay, a Times investigation has found.
In another hideous example, firefighter Thomas Futterer, an avid runner who lives in Long Beach, hurt a knee “misstepping off the fire truck,” three weeks after entering DROP, according to city records. The injury kept him off the job for almost a full year.
Less than two months after the knee injury, a Tom Futterer from Long Beach crossed the finish line of a half-marathon in Portland, Ore., in a brisk 2:05:23, according to race results posted online.
A humiliated Futterer did not respond to repeated requests for comment. His attorneys, Roger Cognata and Robert Sherwin, refused to admit Futterer had run the half-marathon in Oregon.
The list goes on and on. Meanwhile city officials look the other way. It’s time to face reality….some of our heroes are nothing more than common thieves.