Monday, November 15, 2010 – 11:25 a.m.
Last Updated: November 16, 2010 – 07:00 a.m.

Tuesday the San Bernadino County Board of Supervisors will honor outgoing county counsel Ruth Stringer with a resolution commending her for 32 years of service to the county.

Even though the board really showed Stringer to the door.

Stringer’s motivation for not wanting to leave now has all to do with one thing. Her pension.

Even though, over time, taking a pension now would far outweigh the increase in percentage.

A pension which has become crystal clear over the past few months.

If Stringer could have served four more years, her retirement percentage would have climbed from an estimated 83.80% t0 100.00% of her pensionable (earnable) compensation.

Nevertheless, Stringer more than likely walks away taking with her a most prestigious honor.

That honor being San Bernardino County’s highest paid retiree.

Yes, it’s true.

Stringer’s updated retirement calculation is as follows:

Base Annual Salary                                                      $ 230,110.40
Benefit Plan                                                            $   6,000.00
Supplemental Retirement Allowance                                       $  11,391.90
Automobile Allowance                                                    $  14,400.00
Vacation Leave Cash-out (Eligible for pension calculation)              $  17,700.80
Administrative Leave (Eligible for pension calculation)                 $   8,850.40
Holiday Leave (Eligible for pension calculation)                        $  11,391.90
                                                                       --------------
Earnable Compensation                                                   $ 303,244.06
                                                                       --------------
7% County-paid Retirement Contribution received as cash back            $  21,227.08
                                                                         --------------
Total Earnable Compensation for retirement purposes                     $ 324,451.14
Estimated retirement percentage based on age 60 w/ 32 years of service        83.80%
Estimated Annual Pension                                                $ 271,890.05

Talk about a windfall.

Also, Stringer will receive additional lump sum payouts of any additional accrued vacation and holiday leave.

Another little nugget in Stringer’s holiday gift bag is the conversion of unused sick leave.

Stringer is estimated to receive the maximum conversion of 1,400 hours of unused sick leave at her current factored hourly rate. The conversion will be deposited into a retiree medical trust.

A trust used to pay for future health costs and insurance premiums.

The estimated “tax-free” retiree medical trust payout to Stringer? A whopping $154,882.00

It should be noted that the San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association, the county’s retirement system, is fighting a lawsuit brought by the Press-Enterprise newspaper to publicly disclose pension data.

Sources say privately that Stringer is bitter. Especially sources who are on the receiving end of her coldness.

The departure of someone who has cost county taxpayers dearly is always welcome.

The county will likely suffer from Stringer’s decisions for years.