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PRINTER'S NO. 706
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
611
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY DiSANTO, AUMENT, FOLMER, LANGERHOLC, MARTIN,
RAFFERTY, VULAKOVICH AND WHITE, APRIL 17, 2017
REFERRED TO FINANCE, APRIL 17, 2017
AN ACT
Amending the act of July 8, 1978 (P.L.752, No.140), entitled "An
act providing for the forfeiture of the pensions of certain
public employees and authorizing the State or political
subdivision to garnish the pension benefits of certain public
officers and employees upon conviction of certain criminal
activity related to their office or position of employment,"
further providing for definitions, for disqualification and
forfeiture of benefits and for restitution for monetary loss;
and repealing a retroactivity provision.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definitions of "crimes related to public
office or public employment" and "public official" or "public
employee" in section 2 of the act of July 8, 1978 (P.L.752,
No.140), known as the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act,
are amended and the section is amended by adding definitions to
read:
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the
meanings given to them in this section:
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"Benefits administrator." A retirement board, pension fund
administrator or employer that manages, controls or maintains a
pension system for public officials or public employees.
"Crimes related to public office or public employment." Any
of the criminal offenses as set forth in the following
provisions of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes or other enumerated statute when committed
by a public official or public employee through his public
office or position or when his public employment places him in a
position to commit the crime:
Any of the criminal offenses set forth in Subchapter B of
Chapter 31 (relating to definition of offenses) when the
criminal offense is committed by a school employee [as defined
in 24 Pa.C.S. § 8102 (relating to definitions)] against a
student.
Section 3922 (relating to theft by deception) when the
criminal culpability reaches the level of a misdemeanor of the
first degree or higher.
Section 3923 (relating to theft by extortion) when the
criminal culpability reaches the level of a misdemeanor of the
first degree or higher.
Section 3926 (relating to theft of services) when the
criminal culpability reaches the level of a misdemeanor of the
first degree or higher.
Section 3927 (relating to theft by failure to make required
disposition of funds received) when the criminal culpability
reaches the level of a misdemeanor of the first degree or
higher.
Section 4101 (relating to forgery).
Section 4104 (relating to tampering with records or
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identification).
Section 4113 (relating to misapplication of entrusted
property and property of government or financial institutions)
when the criminal culpability reaches the level of misdemeanor
of the second degree.
[Section 4701 (relating to bribery in official and political
matters).]
Section 4702 (relating to threats and other improper
influence in official and political matters).
[Section 4902 (relating to perjury).]
Section 4903(a) (relating to false swearing).
Section 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to
authorities).
Section 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement
authorities).
[Section 4909 (relating to witness or informant taking
bribe).]
Section 4910 (relating to tampering with or fabricating
physical evidence).
Section 4911 (relating to tampering with public records or
information).
Section 4952 (relating to intimidation of witnesses or
victims).
Section 4953 (relating to retaliation against witness, victim
or party).
Section 5101 (relating to obstructing administration of law
or other governmental function).
Section 5301 (relating to official oppression).
Section 5302 (relating to speculating or wagering on official
action or information).
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Article III of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known
as the "Tax Reform Code of 1971."
Any criminal offense under the laws of this Commonwealth
classified as a felony or punishable by a term of imprisonment
exceeding five years.
In addition to the foregoing specific crimes, the term also
includes all criminal offenses as set forth in Federal law
substantially the same as the crimes enumerated herein[.]:
(1) classified as a felony; or
(2) punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding five
years.
* * *
"Public official" or "public employee." Any person who is
elected or appointed to any public office or employment
including justices, judges and [justices of the peace]
magisterial district judges and members of the General Assembly
or who is acting or who has acted in behalf of the Commonwealth
or a political subdivision or any agency thereof including but
not limited to any person who has so acted and is otherwise
entitled to or is receiving retirement benefits whether that
person is acting on a permanent or temporary basis and whether
or not compensated on a full or part-time basis. This term shall
not include independent contractors nor their employees or
agents under contract to the Commonwealth or political
subdivision nor shall it apply to any person performing tasks
over which the Commonwealth or political subdivision has no
legal right of control. However, this term shall include all
persons who are members of any retirement system funded in whole
or in part by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision. For
the purposes of this act such persons are deemed to be engaged
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in public employment.
"School employee." As defined in 24 Pa.C.S. § 8102 (relating
to definitions).
"Student." An individual who is:
(1) instructed by a school employee;
(2) supervised by a school employee;
(3) counseled by a school employee; or
(4) mentored by a school employee.
Section 2. Sections 3(a), (b) and (d) and 4(a) and (d) of
the act are amended to read:
Section 3. Disqualification and forfeiture of benefits.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no public
official or public employee nor any beneficiary designated by
such public official or public employee shall be entitled to
receive any retirement or other benefit or payment of any kind
except a return of the contribution paid into any pension fund
without interest, if such public official or public employee is
[convicted] found guilty of a crime related to public office or
public employment or pleads guilty or no [defense] contest to
any crime related to public office or public employment.
(b) [The benefits shall be forfeited upon entry of a plea of
guilty or no defense or upon initial conviction and no payment
or partial payment shall be made during the pendency of an
appeal. If] The benefits shall be immediately forfeited upon the
public official's or public employee's entry of a plea of guilty
or no contest or upon initial entry of a jury verdict or
judicial order of guilty, with respect to any crimes related to
public office or public employment. The forfeiture shall not be
stayed or affected by pendency of an appeal or collateral attack
on the plea, verdict or order, regardless of whether a court has
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entered or stayed the sentence pending the appeal or collateral
attack. If a plea, verdict or order is vacated and a verdict of
not guilty is rendered or the indictment or criminal information
finally dismissed, then the public official or public employee
shall be reinstated as a member of the pension fund or system
and shall be entitled to all benefits including those accruing
during the period of forfeiture if any. Such [conviction or]
plea, verdict or order shall be deemed to be a breach of a
public officer's or public employee's contract with his
employer.
* * *
(d) The appropriate [retirement board] benefits
administrator may retain a member's contributions and interest
thereon for the purpose of paying any fine imposed upon the
member of the fund by a court of competent jurisdiction, or for
the repayment of any funds misappropriated by such member from
the Commonwealth or any political subdivision.
* * *
Section 4. Restitution for monetary loss.
(a) Whenever any public official or public employee who is a
member of any pension system funded by public moneys [is
convicted or pleads guilty or pleads no defense] enters a plea
of guilty or no contest in any court of record to any crime
related to a public office or public employment or whenever
there is initial entry of a jury verdict or judicial order of
guilty against the public official or public employee in any
court of record to any crime related to a public office or
public employment, the court shall order the defendant to make
complete and full restitution to the Commonwealth or political
subdivision of any monetary loss incurred as a result of the
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criminal offense.
* * *
(d) [The retirement board, administrator of the pension fund
or employer of the defendant] Upon the finding of guilty of a
public official or public employee, or upon the entry of a plea
of guilty or no contest in any court of record by a public
official or public employee, the court shall notify the
appropriate benefits administrator of such finding or entrance
of plea. The appropriate benefits administrator, upon being
served with a copy of the court's order, shall pay over all such
pension benefits, contributions or other benefits to the extent
necessary to satisfy the order of restitution.
Section 3. Section 7 of the act is repealed:
[Section 7. Retroactively.
The provisions of this act shall be retroactive to December
1, 1972.]
Section 4. The General Assembly finds and declares as
follows:
(1) This section applies to the following provisions:
(i) The editorial change in the second paragraph of
the definition of "crimes related to public office or
public employment" in section 2 of the act.
(ii) The addition of the definitions of "school
employee" and "student" in section 2 of the act.
(2) The provisions referred to in paragraph (1) are
intended to clarify the scope of the act as amended by the
act of July 15, 2004 (P.L.733, No.86), entitled "An act
amending the act of July 8, 1978 (P.L.752, No.140), entitled
'An act providing for the forfeiture of the pensions of
certain public employees and authorizing the State or
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political subdivision to garnish the pension benefits of
certain public officers and employees upon conviction of
certain criminal activity related to their office or position
of employment,' further defining 'crimes related to public
office or public employment' to include certain sexual
offenses committed by school employees against students."
Section 5. The following provisions apply to crimes related
to public office or public employment committed on or after the
effective date of this section:
(1) The amendment or addition of the definitions of
"benefits administrator," "crimes related to public office or
public employment" except for the editorial change in the
second paragraph of the definition, and "public official" or
"public employee" in section 2 of the act.
(2) The amendment of section 3(a), (b) and (d) of the
act.
(3) The amendment of section 4(a) and (d) of the act.
(4) The repeal of section 7 of the act.
Section 6. This act shall take effect immediately.
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