Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor must retire in May because she entered the Deferred Retirement Options Plan known as DROP in 2009, but there are rumors she will be re-hired as a civilian to run the department.
When Jane Castor retires, it will be almost like hitting the lottery.
The Chief stands to make $129,000 in unused sick leave and vacation pay, but that is just the beginning of her windfall.
As 10 Investigates the Chief's retirement package, we've crunched the numbers and found Jane Castor, who makes $144,000 a year, won't have to give up her six-figure lifestyle.
The Chief will receive a retirement check somewhere between $721,000 and $790,000, depending on the interest the pension fund makes this year. That is the money that has been put into the Chief's retirement account since she declared she was going into the DROP program.
In addition to the $750,000 retirement check, Jane Castor will receive at least $113,000 each year for the rest of her life. In addition, she will receive a cost of living raise each year which has been averaging about 3 percent. Most likely she will also receive an extra $9,400 check each year, because when the pension fund does well it pays an extra retirement check to its members. The pension plan has averaged more than 9 percent rate of return the past five years.
In order to qualify for the money, the Chief had to sign an irrevocable letter of termination from City Employment, but apparently that doesn't mean anything.
Although the legislature passed a bill in 2009 saying someone had to sit out at least six months before they could be re-hired because of public outrage from people retiring, getting fat checks and pensions, and then being re-hired by the same agency -- that only applies to the Florida Retirement Fund. The Tampa Police and Firefighter Pension is separate and not covered by the six-month wait to be re-hired.
By the way, the Chief did pay into the fund, but so did taxpayers. For every dollar the Chief put into her retirement, taxpayers contributed $1.34. So if the Mayor does ignores the irrevocable termination the Chief freely signed and hires Castor back as a civilian employee, she will be double dipping and taxpayers are on the hook for most of it.