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Thursday, July 20, 2006

21st Retiring Rep to Profit from Repealed Pay Raise

Rock the Capital reports that Rep. Steven Stetler, who announced this week he would be retiring from office in September, will receive a pension increase of over $2,000/year from the "unvouchered expenses".

Stetler had accepted $9,189 in unvouchered expense from the July 7th 2005 pay raise, and, after the pay raise was repealed, stated he would donate the money to charity. For purpose of pension calcucations, though, this is still considered income, we will give Stetler a pension boost for the rest of his life.

From Rock the Capitol News Release:

Stetler Cashes In; Receives “Pension Bounce”
21st Retiring Rep to Profit from Repealed Pay Raise

(Harrisburg, PA)- Representative Stephen Stetler's (D-York ) decision to retire makes him the 21st departing House member to receive a “pension bounce” by collecting “unvouchered expenses.” (See enclosure). RockTheCapital.org Coordinator Eric Epstein stated, “Mr. Stetler’s resignation makes it clear that we need legislation mandating repayment of “unvouchered expenses” to the Department of Treasury. Mr. Stetler joins a growing club of House retirees who will profit from the repealed pay raise for decades to come.” Mr. Epstein added, “Imagine how Mr. Stetler would feel if you drove a caroff of his lot without making a payment?”

Rep. Stephen Stetler (D-York) collected $9,189 and said that he had no plans to pay it back. (York Dispatch December 2, 2005) Mr. Stetler donated the money to undisclosed charities, but because the "unvouchered expenses" were not returned, Mr. Stetler's annual pension will increase by as much $2,183.49 (WGAL: March 9, 2006.)

Mr. Stetler’s challenger, Karen Emenheiser (R-York), has pledged to pay the money back if elected. RockTheCapital.org is calling on Mr. Stetler’s replacement to make the same pledge to tax payers.

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