Harmar trades $20K for retiring police officer's pension
Harmar is paying a retiring police officer $20,000, a decision that prompted one of the township's five supervisors to vote against the deal.
Supervisors on June 19 voted, 4-1, to approve a separation and release agreement with Officer John Wayne Uhring. The township later released a copy of the agreement in response to a Right-To-Know request by the Valley News Dispatch.
According to the agreement, the $20,000 payment was given “in full and final settlement of any and all disputed and/or potential claims relating to Uhring's employment and separation from employment.”
The benefits given to Uhring included enrollment in a health care program. That section of the agreement was redacted by the township.
Through police Chief Jason Domaratz, Uhring declined to be interviewed about the agreement.
Uhring had been off duty for more than a year; he had last worked in April 2013, Domaratz said. Supervisor Bob Exler said Uhring is in poor health and could not return to work.
Supervisor Linda Slomer voted against the agreement between the township and Uhring.
“I thought that was a dangerous precedent to set. I was opposed to it,” Slomer said. “I don't know if I'm at liberty to say any more than that. It's something we shouldn't have done.”
Exler said the agreement was crafted because, while Uhring, 67, meets the age requirement, he is about nine years short of the 25 years of service required to collect a full pension.
“He started late in life,” Exler said.
Rather than Uhring having to wait to collect his pension, and the township then being liable for it, the township paid him $20,000 and Uhring withdrew his pension contributions, which total about $20,000 more, Exler said.
Who the deal works out best for, the township or Uhring, depends on how long Uhring lives into his retirement.
Eventually, his pension would have cost the township more than the $20,000, Exler said.
“It's to our benefit to give him what we gave him, if he lives longer. If he doesn't live as long, it's to his benefit to take this,” Exler said. “It's a coin flip. If Wayne lives into his 80s, he would've made out by not taking the deal.
“This was the best thing for us in the long run. Wayne felt this was the best thing for him in the short run.”
Exler said he, supervisors Chairwoman Pat Janoski and Domaratz wanted to help Uhring.
“Wayne's a good person. We tried to do right by him and us,” Exler said. “I thought it was a win-win for both of us.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Remains of Korean War soldier from Apollo identified
- Union to work while ATI talks continue
- Police identify Harmar man as victim in Washington Township crash
- Vandergrift man accused of sexual assault
- Oklahoma Borough drilling, supply owner to stand trial for stealing natural gas
- Neighbors brace for closing of Bull Creek Road bridge
- Leechburg residents begin holiday lights campaign
- Leechburg home invasion charges dismissed
- Apollo to contact owners of vacant properties, issue fines
- Brackenridge girl opens her heart to child with cancer
- Deer Lakes identifies fired employee after newspaper’s Right to Know request