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OVERRIDDEN: In 11-4 vote, County Board votes to continue pension overpayments to group of retirees

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Some Milwaukee County supervisors say they acted from the heart as well as the head on Tuesday, February 17th. They voted to override County Executive Chris Abele's veto that would have stripped some retirees of a portion of their pension.

Abele vetoed three of the Milwaukee County Board's proposals, and all were overridden, but the most contentious item dealt with Tuesday was pension overpayments.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik said the County Board voted to clean-up the pension mess back in 2007, but the administration didn't do its part.

"We passed sweeping legislation to clean up the pension system, and we got rid of buy-in and buy-backs. The administration never implemented ending buy-in and buy-backs. How are we supposed to know the administration didn't carry out the 2007 directive?" Jursik said.

Meanwhile, county employees continued to put their money in the pension system as advised, but in reality, in error.

Abele's veto would have allowed the county to stop overpayments to retirees and employees to the tune of about $10 million -- but the County Board said "no."

"I for one am not going to take a pension away from a fragile, elderly woman who followed all the rules and did exactly what she was told she could do," Jursik said.

County supervisors acknowledged there are a handful of approximately 200 retirees affected who took advantage of the pension system, but they say everyone has to be treated the same.

"There's three suits already. If this would pass they're going to multiply. We're going to be in litigation for a couple of years," County Supervisor Jim Schmitt said.

In the end, the veto override passed on a 11-4 vote.

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