D.A. Reviewing Thompson Pension
The Los Angeles County district attorney is reviewing the pension of former Manhattan Beach City Manager David J. Thompson to determine if criminal laws were violated in formulating a retirement package that paid Thompson $50,000 a year more than he earned during his last year on the job.
Gail Ehrlich, deputy district attorney with the Special Investigations Division, said the review stems from a letter from an undisclosed source questioning the propriety of the amount of Thompson’s pension and how it came about.
Ehrlich said the review “involves significant research about pension law to see if criminal law has been violated” either by Thompson or the city. If there is reason to believe that violations occurred, she said, a full investigation will be conducted.
The city was stunned in May when it was disclosed that Thompson, who retired a year earlier, was receiving a $139,000-a-year pension from city and state funds. The amount was based on an agreement with the City Council in which Thompson was permitted to take cash benefits for such things as accrued vacation and sick time, thus boosting his final-year compensation to $237,875.
The council in August cut the pension by nearly $60,000 after ruling that Thompson had artificially inflated his compensation for retirement purposes in violation of state Public Employees Retirement System regulations. The council also directed Thompson to repay more than $78,000 in excess money received since leaving the city.