After serving the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department for three decades, and suffering debilitating injuries to his back, shoulder, and knee along the way, our client applied for a disability retirement with the Sacramento County Employee Retirement System (SCERS). SCERS tentatively denied the application, reasoning that because the client has served in a supervisory role prior to retiring, he was no longer performing rigorous “field police work” but was only performing as a sedentary managerial peace officer. Needless to say, this position did not sit well with the client or with G&A. Happily, after a hearing before an administrative law judge that included the testimony of two medical experts and a former undersheriff, the Office of Administrative Hearings concluded that the client was indeed entitled to a disability retirement. SCERS promptly adopted the decision as its own and awarded the disability retirement. G&A attorney Richard P. Fisher, a former administrative law judge, was pleased with SCERS’ decision and noted that, “The attitude that supervisory peace officers are not doing ‘real police work’ for purposes of qualifying for disability retirement is unfortunately pervasive. As a result, supervisory peace officers statewide who are contemplating filing for a disability retirement would be well advised to consult with our office to make sure they are ready for the opposition that CalPERS or various county retirement systems will undoubtedly present along the way.”
To speak with Richard or any of the other Goyette & Associates attorneys, please call us at 888-993-1600.