Randy Adams

Randy Adams, former police chief of Bell, in 2013. A California pension board decided to slash Adams’ retirement benefits because his salary was not approved in public. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

By Paul Pringle
June 25, 2015

A California pension board’s decision to slash the retirement benefits of former Bell Police Chief Randy Adams because his salary was concealed from the public will serve as a precedent for other cases in which government officials receive hidden pay, the panel has announced.

An administrative law judge had ruled in 2012 that Adams’ pension would be based on his previous salary as Glendale police chief rather than the $457,000 in annual pay he received from Bell.

Adams originally sought an annual pension of $510,000. Today, he is receiving $290,000, according to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

The CalPERS board said in a statement this week that, as a precedent, the Adams decision “can be officially cited in court, in other administrative proceedings, and may be applied broadly to other cases.”

“To be the basis for a pension, a public official’s salary must be readily available to the public,” the board said.

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