Top Stories 2012: New Canaan Pension Investigation

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New Canaan officials investigated pension overpayments to former First Selectman Jeb Walker. The town will not pursue criminal charges and Walker has repaid the extra dollars he received. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason, file

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – As 2012 comes to a close, The New Canaan Daily Voice is counting down some of the top stories of the year.

Questions about the pension rate for former First Selectman Jeb Walker arose last summer after votes were taken by the New Canaan Board of Finance and Town Council to change the pension vesting period for some town employees from five years to four years. The votes effectively grandfathered in Walker and former Selectman Sally Hines. Walker had been receiving a $944 monthly payment when he should have received about $373 per month since leaving office in October 2011.

The firm of Bishop, Jackson and Kelly was hired in September to review the overpayment and to see if former town Chief Financial Officer Gary Conrad had the authority to grant Walker’s rate without going before the Board of Finance. The firm’s report, issued to the town in October, found that Walker and Conrad, now the financial officer for Westport, should have known changing Walker’s pension rate was not proper. Walker had earlier repaid the town about $4,300 and his pension rate was recalculated.

The town’s pension committee decided earlier this month not to file criminal charges in the pension matter.

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