Convicted Keith Foster to Still Receive Pension

FRESNO, Calif. - New stories are developing out of the Keith Foster trial, the former deputy chief of the Fresno Police Department will still receive his lucrative pension, even though he was just convicted of dealing drugs while on the job. Several Fresno City council members are now trying to change this retirement policy.

As the policy stands, if you are a Fresno City employee and you are found guilty of a felony, you still get to collect your pension. Now that's different on the state level, and two city council members want Fresno to catch up.

Foster spent nearly 30 years on the force, and two and half weeks in federal court this month. It took a jury two days to find him guilty of conspiring to sell heroin and marijuana. But Foster's pension will go untouched. Certified financial planner Brian Ullmann with Ford Financial Group in Fresno explains.

"He gets to continue collecting his, I believe it's a roughly $93,000 a year pension. The State Legislature and Governor addressed this about four years ago to try to prevent this from happening. Those preventions weren't put in place here in Fresno and I imagine they will be pretty soon," said Ullmann.

That's the hope of Fresno City council members Steve Brandau and Garry Bredefeld.

Brandau said, "We need to look at making a policy change that if somebody abuses their job or a position of power within the government, the City of Fresno, I think their pension needs to be on the table."

Brandau addressed his concerns to his colleagues and to the City Attorney on Thursday in closed session. Bredefeld sent us a statement that said in part quote: "Keith Foster was the second highest ranked police officer in Fresno. His conviction for dealing heroin and other drugs resulted in the erosion of public trust for our police force and hurt our community tremendously. Not only should he receive a very lengthy prison sentence, but his conduct should've resulted in the forfeiture of his pension. Mayor Brand and my colleagues on the council are now working to ensure, that if any conduct like this should happen again in relation to someone's public position, their pension will be forfeited and revoked."

Foster faces up to 25 years in prison for his convictions. Ullman said it will be interesting to see how Foster's pension gets distributed.

Ullmann ended, "I have no idea how you would go about spending $93,000 in prison. I imagine this would be, this is going to go into an account that would provide for other family members."

Foster could also be fined more than one-million dollars as part of his sentencing.


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