Tampa, Florida -- 10 Investigates has found that Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee plans to run for re-election in when his term is up. This comes on the heels of Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor agreeing to stay on past her scheduled retirement date.
Although Castor will be able to collect her Deferred Retirement Options Program (DROP) check of around $600,000 and her $112,000 pension for the rest of her life even while she continues to work, the Sheriff is leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table for the time being by staying in office.
Gee is eligible to collect his retirement benefits in May of 2015, and were he to have retired at that time, he would have received a Deferred Retirement Options Program check of $955,694 and a yearly retirement of a minimum of $173,820 the rest of his life along with a 3 percent living adjustment.
However, Gee's Chief Deputy Joe Docobo told 10 Investigates Monday afternoon, "The Sheriff feels he has more to contribute and is not ready to retire."
That's about 35 percent higher than Jane Castor will receive. And because the Sheriff is in the Florida retirement system he never paid a penny to his retirement check and the taxpayers funded the retirement. That is how the Florida Retirement System is set up and perfectly legal.
Because the Chief is in the Tampa Police and Fire Pension the taxpayers paid a $1.34 for every dollar Castor contributed. Although the Chief promised to retire at the end of her DROP, she is staying on at least another year at the request of Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
Sheriff Gee is another case. Because he is an elected official, he can stay in his job until he resigns or is no longer re-elected.
During that time he can't collect his pension money, but his DROP check will continue to grow at 6.5 percent which means if he is re-elected in 2016 and stays until the end of this elected term in 2020, he will receive a going away check of more than $1 million as well as that $173,000 a year for the rest of his life.