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DiPaolo Says “No” To Lucrative Pension Loop Hole

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James V. DiPaola (credit: Mass.gov)

James V. DiPaola (credit: Mass.gov)

WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) — The sheriff from Middlesex County, who was elected to a new six year term just a few weeks ago, has announced he is retiring.

But now he will retire with one check from tax payers instead of two.

Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve reports Sheriff James DiPaolo was ready to take full advantage of a lucrative loop hole in the pension system, but something changed his mind.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports

Just before the November election, Sheriff James DiPaolo filed for his retirement.

He was then re-elected to office as a retired employee.

So beginning in January, because of a loop hole in the pension system, he would have been legally entitled to his pension and his salary.

Sheriff DiPaolo told Shortsleeve when he looked at it on paper he thought… “Gee, that is a pretty good deal. And it is totally legal. And I made a decision based on the black and white financials and was prepared to do that.”

But when a Boston Globe reporter began asking questions about his plan for two paychecks and the governor called the move “outrageous,” Sheriff DiPaolo then changed his mind.

Read: Keller: Governor’s View Of Corruption

Now he says he will leave the sheriff’s office in January and just take his pension.

Shortsleeve asked “why didn’t you think of the moral question on your own?”

DiPaolo answered, “Well that is a good question. I guess because I am from the world of the law. And this was black and white but some things are not always black and white.”

Mike Widmer of the Mass Tax Payers Association says at least Sheriff DiPaolo is now doing the right thing. “I have been around along time and I thought I had heard about every kind of loop hole and then we find another one and another one.”

Widmer says “probably the publicity in this story was part of his decision, but nonetheless, he did what a lot of other public officials have not done.”

DiPaolo will now give up about $750,000 in salary over the next six years as sheriff. But he says now he can leave office with his head held high.

In order to be eligible for the two pay checks in January, the sheriff had to take himself off the pay roll from election day until being sworn in …in January, which he did.

But again, he has changed his plans and will now leave office.

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