Peete's pension could lead to charter changes

Thursday, Memphis voters expressed outrage at the fact that former Memphis City Council Member Rickey Peete pleaded guilty to corruption charges, yet is still eligible for his city pension.  Peete will receive an $836 monthly pension payment from the city for the rest of his life.

Peete resigned from the Memphis City Council on May 31.  After his resignation, the pension board then approved Peete's pension and he began receiving benefits.

Had Peete stayed on the council and pleaded guilty on public corruption charges, he would have forfeited his pension.  His resignation allowed him to avoid the forfeiture.

Now, one city leader is talking about changing those rules.  Charter Commission and City Council Member Myron Lowery said Peete's actions could lead the charter commission to close the loophole.

"His case could implement changes in the charter," Lowery said.

According to Lowrey, public input would be necessary to make the change.

"Until we hear from the public, coming to us, recommending changes in the pension, I don't know if the Charter Commission would act on this," he said.

Charter Commission members expected to hear from the public about Peete's pension at a Thursday night meeting at Breath of Life Christian Center.

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