By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
But, in fact, that decision will cost Los Angeles a tidy fortune. Franklin's checks will rise to $3,000 monthly by age 82. If he lives longer, his total payout will surpass $1 million.
City officials tell the Weekly that once a city employee such as Franklin wins a "disability pension," Los Angeles has no fraud unit employed to recheck workers occasionally, to make certain they are not committing fraud against taxpayers.
This news about Franklin comes at a time when the cost of retirement benefits for city employees is under intense scrutiny. Los Angeles city pension payouts will skyrocket by $800 million over the next five years, dramatically eroding money available for core public services to L.A. residents.
City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana told members of the City Council that pensions and health benefits for current and future retirees would jump from $1.4 billion next year to at least $2.2 billion in 2015.
"There doesn't appear to be a lot of oversight or control of the disability policy," says Humphreville.
Franklin seemed to snap back immediately upon retirement. On the same day that the LACERS retirement board approved his lifelong checks, Franklin, with his 11-year-old son at his side, was arrested for grand theft after a red Toyota and a 1991 Jeep Wrangler were found by police in his garage on 81st Street. The Wrangler was partially stripped — a task that requires a lot of lifting and upper-body strength.
During his many run-ins with the law for stealing cars, one probation officer declared in a report: "It appears that [Franklin] was motivated by his need and desire for quick cash without the benefit of labor."
Police allege that Franklin, during his nine years as a city garbage collector in the 1980s, murdered seven women in South Los Angeles. He killed three more in the 2000s, police say, after a 13-year hiatus during which no known murders were committed.
On August 23, the Grim Sleeper suspect is expected to enter a plea of not guilty.
Guilty or not, under the arcane public-employee retirement rules, the city owes Lonnie Franklin Jr. — and it must pay him, or his family, for many years to come. Says Kilcoyne with disgust: "He will continue to get a paycheck."
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