Duncan Hunter Will Still Receive Pension Despite Pleading Guilty To A Felony
Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty last month to felony conspiracy for converting campaign funds to personal use, but the California lawmaker will likely collect his taxpayer-funded pension anyway, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Hunter served 11 years in office before the campaign money scandal interrupted his career (Hunter said he would step down shortly after the holidays, but has yet to do so), meaning he will likely collect thousands of dollars of his Congressional pension when he hits retirement age.
The San Diego Union-Tribune was unable to determine the exact amount Hunter would collect but reported that “Based on formulas outlined in a paper released by the research service earlier this year, it is estimated that Hunter, 43, would receive an annual payment of at least $32,538 due to his congressional pension, which he can begin accessing when he turns 62.”
According to Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of OpenTheBooks.com, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has said no members of Congress — Republican or Democrat — have been stripped of their retirement benefits following convictions.
And Hunter is unlikely to become the first.
"He pleaded to a single felony but not one that is specifically included in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act," said Beth A. Rotman, an attorney who is the money in politics and ethics program director for the good government group Common Cause.
This is likely one reason Hunter opted to take a plea. Among the 59 charges prosecutors dropped as part of the deal were dozens of counts of felony wire fraud — a charge that is included in the updated law.