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Oklahoma State Senate
President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-5636

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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2009

Sen. Glenn Coffee
Sen. Glenn Coffee

Public Officials Convicted of Felonies will Forfeit Retirement Benefits

The State Senate today unanimously passed SB 899 by Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, which would revoke state retirement benefits from state or county officers convicted of felonies.

This bill provides that any such officer or employee shall vacate his or her office or employment upon final conviction of, or pleading guilty or nolo contendere to a felony. Further, if such felony violates his or her oath of office the officer or employee shall forfeit all benefits of the office or employment including retirement benefits.

“There have been recent court cases regarding the forfeiture of retirement benefits by elected officials convicted of a crime in which the official was able to keep taxpayer-funded retirement benefits due to a loophole in the law,” said Coffee. “This bill will close that loophole, we hope, forever.”

Specifically, SB 899 specifies that the forfeiture of retirement benefits shall apply to any such officer or employee who, after leaving the office or employment is convicted of bribery, corruption, forgery or perjury or any other crime related to the duties of the office or employment or related to campaign contributions or campaign financing for that or any other office.

“Taxpayers have been stuck supporting Oklahoma felons for too many years now,” said Coffee. “Any elected official or employee entrusted by the citizens of Oklahoma who breaches that trust should not continue to benefit from the largesse of the taxpayer.

“Upon passage by the House and the governor’s signature, Oklahoma will enter a new day of accountability from its public officials,” Coffee concluded.

For more information contact:
Sen. Coffee's Office: 405-521-5636

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