Rawlings then filed a lawsuit in state court to
halt the withdrawals, prompting $154 million more in withdrawal
requests. That money wasn't paid, however, after pension officials froze
DROP to help keep the fund afloat.
Months of bruising negotiations and stinging
political rhetoric culminated in a legislative fix in May 2017. The
law, now in effect, essentially killed DROP by requiring the system to
pay out the DROP money over the projected lifespan of the retirees,
except in extreme circumstances.
Gottschalk has said 183
people also took advantage of the opportunity to "undo" their election
to DROP in favor of a larger monthly benefit based on their years in the
police or fire department.
The plaintiffs had amended their complaint to include the
board's implementation of the law. But Godbey argued they didn't prove
they had been deprived of their property.
However, the plaintiffs' attorney, David Feldman, said the annuitization is unjust.
"We had some difficulty understanding the court's reasoning," he said.
The money belongs to his clients, Feldman said.
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