Wharton wants to audit line of duty disability retirees - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wharton wants to audit line of duty disability retirees

(WMC-TV) - Memphis taxpayers spend an annual $13.5 million on former city retirees who claim they are permanently disabled, but it appears some disability is not so permanent.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said Saturday he wants annual reviews of the nearly 500 employees drawing line of duty disability.

"For many, many years, we've had individuals getting away with free money while they go to other places and work claiming disability," said Memphis Councilwoman Wanda Halbert.

Halbert said she sent a letter to city administration about the problem.

"I made a broad inquiry not realizing this was a problem occurring in the city," said Halbert.  "And at that point, different names of different people started coming out."

Two high profile names include former Memphis police officers Curry Todd and Paul Sherman.

"We're seeing them on television in different functions and organizations, working," said Halbert.

Sherman interviewed with Action News 5 about his position as a private law enforcement instructor at Investigative Techniques Unlimited in Mississippi.

Current Tennessee state representative Todd has served as a corrections institute administrator and even refereed basketball games.

"The premise when someone gets that check is, 'Hey, I'm disabled.  I can't work,'" said A C Wharton.

Wharton and council members learned of the bleak budget in coming years at a retreat Saturday.  Wharton explained his plan moving forward.

"There ought to be a review," he said.

Wharton proposed annual audits.

"This is where we're setting up a policy framework as opposed to zeroing in on a particular investigation," said Wharton.

Starting next Thursday, the city will get yearly status updates on retirees' physical condition and an explanation of annual earnings.

"Individuals who are truly disabled have absolutely nothing to be concerned about," said Wharton.

It is unclear if they city can recoup any lost monies.

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