Conviction Could Cost McDonnell His Pension

Posted: Updated: Aug 21, 2014 05:18 PM

If former Governor Bob McDonnell is convicted of corruption, he stands to lose his pension due to a bill he signed into law.

McDonnell is fighting to both clear his name and save his annual state pension. He and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from a businessman in exchange for promoting his company's product.

If convicted, a bill Bob McDonnell approved while governor could apply to him. He signed House Bill 2095 on March 24, 2011. The legislation says "a member of the Virginia Retirement System forfeits their retirement benefits if they get convicted of a felony." It went into law on July 1, 2011 and applies only if the felony is a result of misconduct in a state government position.

McDonnell spent more than two decades as an elected official, getting his start in the House of Delegates in 1992. The Richmond Times-Dispatch estimates the governor's annual pension is at least $65,450.

McDonnell could also lose his monthly credit to help pay for medical care and life insurance.

What's unclear about the issue is that the statute requires a former employee's supervisor to alert the VRS about a felony conviction. The retirement fund's director asks: who is the supervisor in the case of the governor?

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