Here's a head-scratcher: Vahak Mardoun Mardikian got demoted in 2012 by the Glendale Police Department for harassing and belittling other cops, but later the city's Civil Service Commission sided with Mardikian. He was ultimately give a huge settlement, basically by claiming that the department, half of which is made up of Armenian, black and Latino cops, is anti-Armenian.
But on Aug. 8, Markidian got tossed in Clark County jail for allegedly giving Las Vegas vice detective Justine Gatus $275 for anal sex — and, well, to fill her gas tank. That's what Nevada court records show, obtained by the scrappy Glendale News Press. But now he's going to start collecting $10,000 a month off taxpayers— and he gets to retire at age 50 on the taxpayer dime. Is this OK?
Here's the list of goodies Markidian is going to get because city officials in Glendale decided to pay him off rather than go to trial, where they could have lost the case in which the 49-year-old sergeant and four other cops claimed they were harassed for being Armenian.
— $10,579 a month in paid leave through Dec. 29, 2015.
— A lifetime pension beginning at that point, at age 50, from the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CALPERS).
— An additional $24,792 paid out over one year.
— $250,000 to his attorneys, paid by the city's insurer, AIG.
Markidian's exact salary has not been released, but given that more senior police in the Glendale-Los Angeles area earn an average of $112,890 (not including the perks like nearly free or free health coverage), he'll almost certainly be in line to collect six figures for the rest of his life as of next year.
As The New York Times has pointed out regarding big retirement payouts to still-youthful cops in California, many of whom quickly take up new careers because they're only 50:
In Desert Hot Springs, for example, for every dollar that the city pays its police officers, another 36 cents must be sent to CALPERS to fund their pensions.
The average pay and benefits package for a police officer here had been worth $177,203 per year, in a city where the median household income was $31,356 in 2011, according to the Census Bureau. All of this had gone largely unnoticed until becoming the center of debate during the recent municipal election.