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CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH REFUSES TO PROVIDE RETIREMENT BENEFITS OWED TO OFFICERS

Written By Tamrin Olden

Communications consultant specializing in government, public safety, and law firms.

July 21, 2020

Newport Beach, CA – The Newport Beach Police Association (NBPA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of three police officers after being denied the retirement benefits they are entitled to.

Police Officers Kelley Maslin, Michelle Hampton, and Dallas Lopez were hired as police recruits by the Newport Beach Police Department in the Summer of 2012. During the application, testing, and post-hire process, they were all told by multiple police management personnel and city Human Resources staff that they would receive the 3% @ 50 CalPERS retirement formula. This agreement was per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was in effect at that time.

The retirement benefit was/is of particular importance to officers and serves as a recruitment incentive because of the competitiveness of hiring police officers over the last several years. This benefit played an integral role in the decision for these three officers to choose employment with the Newport Beach Police Department.

In 2017, it was discovered that the officers had been incorrectly enrolled under the 3% @ 55 formula, despite being promised and qualifying for the 3% @ 50. The issue was swiftly brought to the attention of Police and City Administrators; however, no remedy was given. After the City refused to work with the employees to correct the issue, the NBPA was forced to file the lawsuit as a last resort. Since the lawsuit was filed on September 30, 2019, the Association has been consistently met with resistance and hostility from the City Attorney’s Office.

In a recent attempt at mediation, it was apparent the City Attorney, Mr. Aaron Harp, had no intention of doing the right thing or even considering working together to resolve the issue.

“The Newport Beach Police Association has always taken pride in having a wonderful working relationship with our City Council. The entire membership is feeling frustrated and disappointed by the City Attorney’s refusal to give our employees what they are rightfully entitled to. At this point, the issue has become time-consuming, costly (for both taxpayers and us), and mentally fatiguing. I hope the City Council will do the right thing and make our employees whole again.”

NBPA President Sabrina Fabbri

Media Contact: Tamrin Olden, Public Relations Consultant | Tamrin@TamrinOlden.com | 909.285.4575

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