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County refusing to pay pension that was awarded for 20+ year deputy who suffered injury fighting suspect

Source: Linkedin/ Eaton County Sheriff’s Office Faceboook

All Jim West wants is to sit at home in peace, but he can’t because he’s only surviving on Social Security disability benefits and his credit card after Eaton County challenged his pension claim.

More than 20 years ago Jim West was bludgeoned in the head by a suspect who had violated his probation. West and another Eaton County Sheriff’s deputy were there to bring him in. The man had other plans and used a two-pound metal flashlight attack the deputies.

West then fired a round into the suspect, killing him.

Now, according to the Lansing State Journal, West suffers from debilitating seizures and headaches. His memory is also starting to fade. He also lost his pension.

West suffered a major seizure in 2017 and has been unable to work since then.

He applied for duty-related retirement in 2017 and was approved by the Municipal Employees Retirement System.

Then Eaton County challenged it. Commissioners say the incident was minor and cannot be tied to West’s symptoms that have caused him to step back.

West is also 18 months away from hitting 25 years of service.

Sheriff Tom Reich says he can’t put West on light duty just so West can hit the milestone and receive his full pension.

A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

If West wins he would get three-quarters pay and full medical benefits for the rest of his life.

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