Hi Eric –
Responding to both of your morning e-mails here.
The board’s opinion and order in the appeal, and the two dissenting opinions filed in the appeal, are attached. The vote by board member is below.

Board Members Who Voted to Grant Mr. Mellow’s Appeal

Board Members Who Filed
Dissenting Votes

David R. Fillman
Glenn E. Becker
Rep. Robert W. Godshall
Sen. Vincent J. Hughes
Sen. Charles T. McIlhinney, Jr.
Michael V. Puppio
Joseph M. Torsella
Stephen Aichele
Rep. Daniel Frankel
T. Terrance Reese
Mary Soderberg
The board carefully reviewed the record of this appeal, with the majority accepting the hearing examiner’s recommendation that the board overturn the forfeiture determination.
The board struggled with this decision as evidenced by the split nature of the vote, including the filing of dissenting opinions, which does not happen often. The crux of the issue centered around whether the federal crime of conspiracy, to which the member pled, is substantially similar to the state crime enumerated in Act 140 (Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act of 1978).  According to the hearing examiner, “For a federal statute to satisfy the substantially similar test, a comparison of the applicable burdens of proof … and elements of the crime must support a finding that the two statutes are substantially the same.”
Any remedy to either expand the list of crimes that trigger pension forfeiture or to strengthen the tie between federal and state crimes would require legislative action.


From Pamela J Hile