Convicted state lawmaker gets pension restored

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A former Pennsylvania lawmaker who served prison time for corruption has won his appeal to get his $20,000-a-month pension restored.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported Tuesday the State Employees’ Retirement System board voted 6-5 to return former Democratic State Sen. Robert Mellow’s pension.

Mellow lost the retirement benefit when he pleaded guilty in May 2012 to allegations that he used taxpayer-funded staff to work on political campaigns. After serving for 40 years, the Scranton-area legislator was entitled to $246,000 a year.

His lawyers argued his crime didn’t compare to the state crimes listed under the pension forfeiture law.

A board spokeswoman says they struggled with the decision. All 11 members declined comment or were unable to be reached.

Mellow’s lawyer says he is “pleased that the law was followed.”

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Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com

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