PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County Auditor David Green’s letter to the Scioto County Commissioners Thursday requesting his retirement was accepted and, in the same meeting, Green was hired as interim auditor. Except, according to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), he wasn’t.
Green’s retirement and rehiring hit a snag when OPERS informed him he cannot do both in the same month.
On Thursday the commissioners accepted the retirement of Green, going into effect Friday at midnight. In the same meeting the commissioners appointed Green as interim Scioto County Auditor effective Saturday.
OPERS spokeswoman Julie Graham-Price told the Daily Times Thursday that the timeline for retirement allowance in this situation is no longer something that kicks in from one day to the next.
According to information provided by OPERS, “a retiree who has received a retirement allowance for less than two months when re-employment begins will forfeit the retirement allowance for any month of re-employment during that two-month period. This forfeiture applies even if the retiree waives salary for the two-month period. This is known as the two-month re-employment forfeiture.”
Further information provided by OPERS said a public notice is required for elected officials who retire from OPERS during a term of office and are appointed to the same position for the remainder of the same term or are elected to the same office for the next consecutive term.
Green said he still has intentions to retire at the end of the month with the expectations of being rehired as interim Scioto County Auditor.
After meeting with the Scioto County Commissioners and Scioto County Prosecutor later on Thursday, Green said an agreement was reached in which the commissioners will accept an amended retirement letter on Tuesday reflecting the retirement date of Sept. 30th. The commissioners will then reappoint Green as Interim Scioto County Auditor effective Oct. 1.
Skip Riffe, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners, said the letter was void because Green was unable to retire per OPERS policy. He added that the situation is unprecedented.
“We’ve never been in this situation before. So, I’m not really sure, we are waiting to here back from OPERS. Until we hear back from them, I don’t know,” Riffe said.
Green said he is making this move in order to lock in future retirement benefits under current law.
“In light of the recent changes the state legislature has made in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. I’m retiring to lock in my future retirement benefits, under the current law,” Green said.
According to Green, he will have 32 years of service with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.
Green said he will remain the interim Scioto County Auditor until the Scioto County Democratic Central Committee meets Sept. 27 and at that time they are expected to appoint him Scioto County Auditor to fill the unexpired term.
The current term of the Scioto County Auditor expires in 2015.
“I plan to be a candidate for reelection in 2014,” Green said.
In a letter to Scioto County taxpayers on the Scioto County website Green states, “As County Auditor, it is my job to see that the funds of Scioto County are spent legally and that the tax revenues are distributed properly. Ohio law places more responsibility upon the County Auditor than upon any other county official. Many of the functions performed by my office are complex and require the skills of trained public servants with many years of experience. I am proud of my employees and of the outstanding job that they do for the people of Scioto County.”
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.