Retirement system board to appeal ruling regarding Gene Stipe

Friday, August 19th 2005, 6:16 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A retirement system board has decided to appeal an Oklahoma County judge's ruling that former state Senator Gene Stipe should get full retirement benefits.

The governing board of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System voted Thursday to ask the state Supreme Court to intervene in the case.

The state pension system reduced Stipe's pension from $7,042 a month to $1,572 a month.

The latter amount represents Stipe's pension earnings before enactment of a state law that requires forfeiture of retirement benefits of state officials who plead guilty to certain crimes.

Stipe pleaded guilty in March 2003 to federal crimes stemming from illegal contributions to the failed 1998 congressional campaign of Walt Roberts.

Stipe had argued before the board last year that his pension shouldn't have been cut because his plea didn't relate to this duties as a public official and didn't violate his oath of office.