In the wake of former County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora's corruption trial, State Rep. Mike Dovilla, R-18, is pushing for approval of legislation that would take away public officials' pensions if they are convicted of extortion or perjury.
Dovilla, a primary sponsor of House Bill 323, said he was angered when he learned Dimora's lawyers cut a deal with federal prosecutors that allows him to forfeit his commissioner’s pension, valued at $122,383, in exchange for reduced jail time.
"The fact that Jimmy Dimora was able to use his public pension as a bargaining chip for reduced jail time or other benefits is not only sickening but is a blemish on our democracy," Dovilla said in a news release.
HB 323 would automatically strip public officials convicted of extortion and perjury from receiving their pensions.
The measure would not apply to Dimora because it would not be retroactive, and because Dimora was convicted of bribery, racketeering and theft, not extortion.
But Dovilla said officials who betray the public's trust should not find "a golden parachute at the end of a criminal investigation and conviction."
Amended House Bill 323, co-sponsored by eleven members of the House of Representatives, was favorably reported by the Committee on Criminal Justice on Jan. 25 and is awaiting a vote by the full House.