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Looking Closer at Memphis’ Line of Duty Disability Payments

February 14, 2014

What could be more essential to a City of Memphis  budget than protecting our courageous, frontline fire and police protectors from the financial ravages of disabling line of duty injuries?

Unless it’s making sure that line of duty disability payouts are made after careful scrutiny of applicants’ cases, and that all approved cases are merited.

Today at MemphisShelbyInform.com, our favorite government watchdog Joe Saino raises the issue of line of duty disability reform. Twelve million dollars a year is a significant budget line item. Joe wants to know why City of Memphis line of duty disability payments are ten times that of Shelby County Government or MLG&W. Fair question.

jason webbJoe also wants to know why Jason Webb, a rather infamous, twice-fired Memphis policeman who filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Memphis Police Department, was recently awarded $3000 a month for life in line of duty disability payments for post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you aren’t already a subscriber to MemphisShelbyInform.com (and you should be), Back in River City is reprinting today’s article below.

Share your thoughts with Joe Saino here or at MemphisShelbyInform.com.

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Line Of Duty Disability Reform

by Joe Saino

February 13, 2014

There are lots of things that need reform in the Memphis pension system and we have talked about the need for going to a defined contribution system rather than the current defined benefit system. Hopefully we will get there if the Mayor and the City Council do the right thing.

However I have often spoken about the need for line of duty disability reform. The Memphis pension board regularly approves applications for line of duty disability applications and has ten times more former employees on line of duty disability than Shelby County government or the MLGW. (These people on line of duty disability get 60% of their final average salary for their lifetime tax free).

Now I find out from Jeni Diprizio (a great reporter for Channel 24) that last month (January 30, 2014) Jason Webb applied for and received approval for a line of duty disability at a yearly disability payment of $34,103.28, tax free for life. Here is the City of Memphis pension board agenda in January.

Who is Jason Webb? Here is the channel 24 article about him.  According to Jeni Diprizio, the line of duty disability application was approved because Mr. Webb said that he had PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as a result of the Lester Street killings.

Let me know what you think about this line of duty disability giant hole in our City of Memphis pension system. Through this hole we are pouring out over $12 million dollars per year, ten times as much as Shelby County government and the MLGW.

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