The widow of a Milwaukee County Deputy who was killed in the line of duty is now being forced to repay a massive sum -plus interest- after the county accidentally overpaid her for years.
Yesterday, Jenna Aleman was been ordered by the Pension Board to pay around $160,000, all due to an accounting error.
Aleman is the widow of MCSO Deputy Sergio Aleman, who was killed in a car accident while on duty. During a meeting with the board, she told them that the pension money supports her and her family.
Acting in defense of Aleman, attorney Chris MacGillis argued that the pension board knew about the error for three years before bringing it to Mrs. Aleman’s attention, and referred to their actions as “disgusting.”
“This was something that my client had no part in,” MacGillis said. “She didn’t create the problem, but she’s being asked to shoulder the entire burden of their error.”
Aleman must now pay back $140,000, as well as $23,000 in interest.
“This should not have happened. I base my life on what they told me,” said Aleman.
Milwaukee County Retirement Plan Services Director Tim Coyne released the following statement to TMJ4, effectively stating that some families will be caught in the crossfire in an effort to streamline the pension system and make it more efficient.
“It’s vitally important that we protect our pension system and give everyone the benefits they’re entitled to. It’s incredibly difficult when retirees and their family members are caught in the effects from previous errors, but a sustainable, well-governed system will mean fewer retirees being affected in the future. Unfortunately, overpayment errors within our pension plan have contributed to the system’s fiscal instability. We are working every day to create a system that is sustainable and that helps us keep our promises to County retirees and their families.”
Mrs. Aleman plans to appeal the board’s decision.
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