Lawsuit claims prison receiver is padding state pension with federal salary


jortiz@sacbee.com

A Sacramento lawsuit alleges that prison receiver J. Clark Kelso – with help from a federal judge, the state courts and CalPERS – is padding his state pension with his federal salary.

Daniel E. Francis v. Board of Administration for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System contends that Kelso’s employment deal illegally washes his pay through the state’ Administrative Office of the Courts so that the money can be factored into his retirement.

Francis is bringing the suit as a taxpayer, retired state worker and CalPERS member.

Kelso’s total compensation came to about $270,000 last year, according to state payroll data, of which $214,000 was base pay. In 2009 his base wage was about $6,000 more, with other compensation totaling $107,000. Kelso’s pension is based on a percentage of his highest year’s base wage.

Kelso told The Bee last November that the arrangement, while unusual, was thoroughly vetted and is both legal and ethical. “That hasn’t changed,” said Kelso spokeswoman Nancy Kincaid said.

CalPERS declined to comment on the litigation.

Judge Thelton Henderson appointed the 51-year-old Kelso to take over the state prison system’s inmate medical program in 2008, the California Prison Healthcare Receivership Corp., the nonprofit business arm of the receiver, and the AOC agreed to put Kelso on the AOC payroll as a “consultant.”

Read More @ The Fresno Bee

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