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No Deal on MoCo Police Disability as Council is Poised to Vote

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and police union leaders still have not been able to negotiate a deal to overhaul the county's disability retirement program. The stalemate comes as the County Council is scheduled to take up legislation tomorrow that is designed to inject more oversight in the system.

"We've made some substantial progress," Leggett's spokesman Patrick Lacefield said this afternoon. "But there's not a deal."

Jane Milne of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 35, declined to comment on the status of the talks.

Leggett's team is scheduled to brief the council on negotiations before tomorrow's session. Council President Phil Andrews could not say for sure whether the panel would vote tomorrow, but he seems inclined to push ahead with legislation.

"We have to press forward," Andrews said. "There's real value in the council resolving this issue. It's been around for months; it's clearly a problem."

Leggett's aides and police union leaders have been meeting for six months to try to negotiate changes to the system, which has come under scrutiny by Montgomery's inspector general.

A joint council committee has narrowly endorsed a legislative fix to the system. But four of eight council members have said changes should be worked out through collective bargaining.

By Ann Marimow  |  April 27, 2009; 3:13 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow , Montgomery County  
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Montgomery County is a generous employer. Employees who are actually disabled should be provided for by the county.

Disability is a way for employees to bump up their incomes tax free. The council needs to institute a higher standard of proof for disability qualification so that these abuses are not commonplace.

Most county residents are not privy to employee benefits like this. The Council needs to consider how generous county residents have been rein in this program.

Posted by: RedBird27 | April 27, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Am having some difficulty sleeping. That's why I'm here.
A few days ago, Mont Police went to my elderly parents' home that had been broken into while they were asleep. 2 brave officers came to the house w/o help & went in concerned for my folks. No one arrested, but these officers had no way of knowing what they might encounter. It scares me when I think of what they do, the dangers, and the concerns their own wives and kids must have when they are out there on patrol in the dark.
2day I called cne of the off's who had gone to my childhood home to protect my parents to ask if he could keep an eye on the folks. The off'cr offered his help & during our talk I was told that some on MY County Council (Trackenberg & Berliner)wanted to cut Police injury benefits and that the Wash Post was being hateful towards Officers. From what I have read tonight, the off'cr was right. I VOTE but not for these guys. I'm in marketing in MC & shall spread the word for sure!

Posted by: JenniferCW | April 28, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

I apologize that I ran out of space but I need to say that I was also told that the Mont Co Police Chief Manger ? is the one who wanted a reduction in benefit for police officers going on calls but supported $90,000 for his own Assistants who get disability but do Police Chief work and physical contests? Can this be true? If this is true, this Manger should be fired as I find this to be revolting.

Posted by: JenniferCW | April 28, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

I have been going to court with Montgomery County police as an attorney for 30 years. They do a good job and are smarter that police elsewhere. But they are giving themselves a bad name with this disabilitygate. If I am on the council, and the council as not cleared this up after months of handwringing, the council will cut the Gordian Knot. I am going to volunteer to sit down with the police in a marathon session. We are going to be in one room until the issue is solved. If it takes six hours or six days that is fine. It sure won't take six months.

I attended West Point with the class of 1964. 35 were killed in action, 100+ were wounded. All graduates went to VietNam. Less than 5% retired on disability. There is no reason that homeowners should have to pay for 40-60% of police retiring on disability. Homeowners are not an ATM for anybody, including those who scam the retirement system.

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | April 28, 2009 3:34 AM | Report abuse

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