Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hey Kids! Estimate Nifong's Pension! It's Fun!

Aaaaaaah! I GET it! It's a profit deal!!!
~Steve Martin, The Jerk, 1979

Now, thanks to the handy-dandy North Carolina Department of State Treasurer Retirement Systems Division Pension Benefits Estimator, you, too, can enjoy hours of relaxing entertainment with simple math calculations, just like Mikey!

Wanna know whether the date of Mikey's detachment from civil service will have any effect on the monthly amount he might expect from a grateful State of North Carolina? Well, now you can! After accessing the Benefits Estimator main page, simply click on the button conveniently provided for "Local Government Employees," and "Continue."

Once here, the fun really begins!

Of course, in order to secure a truly accurate retirement benefits estimate, you'd need to know all of Mikey's relevant input data. Alas, some of that information is known only by Mikey and State or Federal benefits administrators. You won't know, for example, his accumulated Sick Leave, or his estimated monthly Social Security Benefit at age 62.

His DOB, commencement year and cumulative years of service are here, though, and we can safely assume that, because of his long service, he makes "around a hundred thousand dollars a year." I know, I know, that does seem light for the 27-year "best lawyer in the office," but, hey, it's North Carolina.

Ready? Great! Let's do a few together, okay? Who's with me? I thought so!

Example Number 1:

Just for fun, let's say Mikey loses the November election or is otherwise removed from office at the turn of the year. If we input his Date of Birth (09/14/1950), Date of Retirement (01/01/2007), Years of Creditable Service (lets say 28), Average Final Compensation (let's err on the conservative side and say exactly $100,000.00),* and click "calculate benefits," the North Carolina Treasury Department's official website indicates that Mikey could expect to receive at least $3,822 in pension benefits per month. "At least," of course, because we have not input his Accumulated Sick Leave or Age 62 SS Benefit. And, let me see those hands now, who thinks that Mikey has, really, been doing quite a bit better than $100K since his ol' pal, Governor Easley, appointed him to the top post in the Office? Goooood! I think so, too.

* This is a reeeeeally important component of the calculation. The longer Mikey remains in office, presumably, the higher his yearly salary and, thus, the higher his Average Final Compensation.

Mikey just turned fifty-six years old. Did you all remember to wish him a Happy Birthday? That's pretty good. Pretty good. But I'd like the rest of you to send him a card, okay? Just drop it in the mail to his home address, 615 November Drive, Durham, NC 27712. November Drive! Oooh, that's a hoot!, isn't it boys and girls?

Anyway, back to our math homework. Let's say Mikey gets a really special present this year and wins the election. I know, I know, but, just for shits and giggles, work with me here, okay? In my admittedly absurd hypothetical, Mikey wants to retire six years from now, at age 62, when his son will be a college junior.

Example Number 2:

Entering "01/01/2013" in the Date of Retirement box, "33" for Years of Creditable Service, and, oh, a very reasonable "$120,000.00" in the space provided for Average Final Compensation yields Mikey's estimated monthly retirement benefit of: $6,015. Isn't this fun?

Example Number 3:

Lets say Mikey wants to retire eight years from now, after the boy graduates from college: Using "01/01/2015" as the Date of Retirement, "35" Years of Creditable Service, and an extremely conservative "$125,000.00" to represent Average Final Compensation, Mikey might expect an estimated $6,744 per month in State retirement benefits. Kind of makes those additional two years not seem worth it, huh?

But now, I know, I know, perish the thought, lets say Mikey remains in office for another ten years!

Example Number 4:

He retires on "01/01/2017," with "37" years of service, and an Average Final Compensation of "150,000.00" (Hey, he's been Grand Poobah for a decade). Y'all ready for this?


Wow! Well more than double what he might expect, if anything at all, if driven out in disgrace this January! Go crazy, kids! Try your own figures! Mikey likes this even more than reading the list of Lewis Cheek's write-in petitioners!

My examples are, of course, merely estimates, subject to tweak upon the input of data known only to Mikey or State and Federal benefits administrators. I also do not know if District Attorneys are parties to or beneficiaries of a super-duper special contract that would substantially enhance his estimated retirement benefits over those of mere mortal "Local Goverment Employees." Jeepers, I sure would like to get my hands on the controlling documents, wouldn't you?

It's easy to see, however, why Mikey has unequivocally stated that he "must win on November 7."

It's also easy to see why it is a travesty unto itself that a Special Prosecutor has not been appointed to replace him in the, um, further "handling" of the Duke Hoax, isn't it kids?

Then again, he's only looking out for the best interests of his son.

Update: FWIW, according to "old whippersnapper" over at Free Republic,

Nifong's a member of a very nice pension system. When he was appointed DA Nifong certainly would have received a significant increase in the salary he had been receiving as an ADA. And that salary is what his pension system will use to calculate his pension.

Not only is his salary higher, but as a DA his pension will be based upon 3.02% of his final salary for each year of service instead of the 1.85% for each year that he "earned" as an ADA. So the difference between the pension he'll get if he continues to be DA and what he'd receive if he had to go back to being an ADA is VERY significant. The desire to protect the difference (i.e., higher current salary and ultimately higher pension) is apparently enough to corrupt Nifong and drive him to lie, attempt to destroy other folks' lives/careers, attempt to have "evidence" manufactured. In other words, enough for him to sell his integrity (assuming he had any to begin with) and lose his soul. He apparently doesn't value his integrity and reputation very much.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humor about serious problems at it's best!


2:27 AM  
Anonymous wts said...

CC of email I sent today:

Dear Mr. Brodhead,

I graduated Trinity in ‘75 and Duke University Graduate School of Business in ’78. I have written twice before and received only form responses.

I am disappointed more and more each day by the failure to demonstrate leadership in the LAX case.

You should write a letter to the Chronicle, the N&O, and the Herald. Let me help you write it:

RE: The case against 3 Duke Lacrosse Students

Dear Editors,

The following is too little too late, and for that I apologize, recognizing my apology is simply not enough.

I believe in legal due process and in our Duke Students. They are innocent. I encourage our Duke Family to assist in their defense. I personally will assist in their defense in whatever way their families would like.

I failed at a very important time in this process to meet with and offer my support the families of our students. I was wrong. I will be meeting soon with each of the students and their families involved in this case, beginning of course with the students that have been charged.

I recognize I cannot reverse the errors of the past. However, I can make sure they are not repeated and I can make sure to lead our students through example.

I will call to task myself, newspapers, bloggers, students, police, DA’s, lawyers, and all others in this case to higher standards.


President Richard Brodhead

Try it out. You might find that leadership suits you.


W. Tate Scott

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check PM's @ CTV

11:47 PM  
Blogger NDLax84 said...

You've got mail.

1:19 AM  
Anonymous gc said...

You have cleverly pointed out for us that it's all about survival for Nifong- at any cost! It's now a numbers game for him. How pathetic.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to wts:

Your letter to Brodhead is so on target. Our son graduated in May of 2006. I am outraged by many things, but especially the thought of the Lax Team Captains meeting with Brodhead and telling him the TRUTH. Only to have Brodhead stab them in the back numerous times after that.

The President of NC Central was a study in keeping his mouth shut. Do you think he knew the real story about Crystal from early on. My bet is yes.

Gee it wouldn't be a real letter from Brodhead unless you had some obscure puzzling quotes from Shakespeare.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about "First let's kill all the lawyers."

9:16 PM  
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