What troubled U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson most wasn’t that Silas Lee McHenry Jr. stole $1.2 million from the federal government. It was that the Grand Forks man did so over the course of nearly three decades, consciously choosing each month — for 320 months — to accept his deceased father’s federal pension checks and cash in on the bankroll.
A Grand Forks man lied about his father’s death for 26 years and cashed in on more than $1.2 million worth of pension checks the federal government continued to send his deceased father. Silas Lee McHenry Jr. faces up to 10 years in prison after duping the government and stealing the pension checks.
With Americans increasingly likely to live well into their 80s, critics question whether paying lifetime pensions to retirees from age 55 or 60 is financially sustainable. Guaranteed pensions for relatively youthful government retirees — paid in similar fashion to millions nationwide — are contributing to nationwide friction with the public sector workers, most who no longer have access to such programs.
Don Thompson and Julie Carr
, December 10, 2011
Watch Rhode Island, a Herald editorial suggested last month (“Learn from Little Rhody’s big mistakes,” Page A4, Oct. 3). If you’re interested in public-sector pensions — and these days, every taxpayer should be — then Rhode Island deserves your attention. That’s because, as the Chicago Tribune put it, “the nation’s smallest state may have the largest problem in the land.”
Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's long service at the university theoretically puts him in line for a pension of more than $500,000 a year, according to an Associated Press analysis of state public pension records.
North Dakota’s special legislative session in November will be exciting enough. There’ll be lots of drama as the Fighting Sioux nickname law, redistricting and state flood assistance for the Minot and Bismarck areas come up for review.
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