L.A. teacher suspected of lewd conduct keeps benefits (Los Angeles Times)
Thursday February 2nd, 2012
A teacher charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct in his classroom successfully thwarted attempts by the Los Angeles Unified School District to fire him. In the process, the teacher, who is accused of spoon-feeding his semen to blindfolded children, managed to retain lifetime health-benefits provided by the nation’s second-largest school system.
Former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt also automatically receives nearly $4,000 a month in pension from the California State Teachers' Retirement System.
[...]“A teacher will receive their pension regardless of the reason for their termination because it is a benefit the teacher earned through their contributions and length of service,” said Michelle Mussuto, a spokeswoman for CalSTRS. “Once earned, that benefit cannot be taken away unless it is determined the teacher obtained that benefit by fraudulent means.”