Sunday, July 10, 2009 – 11:25 a.m.

This weekends special report on San Bernardino County’s six-figure pension club was a little surprising.

But only as to the highest annual pension amount.

That distinguished position goes to former Undersheriff Richard Beemer at a whopping $290, 901.96.

The impending entry of former County Counsel Ruth Stringer onto the retirement roll will give Beemer a challenge for the top spot.

Stringers continuation on active payroll is propelling her toward the $300,000 annual threshold.

San Bernardino County has the most abusive pension system in the state.

By abusive, I mean pretty much every form of compensation, excluding overtime, has been incorporated into the retirement formula.

The process to change the formula components to what they are today required the joint approval of the Board of Supervisors and Board of Retirement.

The structure is abusive, especially for executive exempt management, where an 18% spike can be engineered prior to retirement.

Here’s a list of the top eleven pensioners according to The PE.

NAME                              JOB TITLE                                            ANNUAL PENSION

Richard A. Beemer         Undersheriff                                             $290,901.96
Norman Kanold              Assistant County Administrator              $254,818.60
Michael Stodelle             Assistant Sheriff                                      $254,640.36
Warren S. Nobles           Assistant Sheriff                                      $254,031.60
Thomas L. Sutton          Administrator – Special Districts             $253,332.48
Gerald Farber                 Public Defender                                       $243,287.40
Ronald W. Biebedorf      Assistant Sheriff                                      $241,447.32
James Coronado            Sheriff’s Deputy Chief                              $241,276.92
Bruce J. Zeiner               Assistant Sheriff                                      $238,040.76
John Michaelson            Chief Executive Officer                             $236,271.96
Richard N. Larsen          Treasurer-Tax Collector                           $235,421.04