(CBS Connecticut) — East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo went to the state’s highest court today, for arguments over his city pension.
Before he became mayor, Maturo was a firefighter in East Haven. He retired on disability back in 1991 and later started collecting his pension.
He wants to continue collecting the town firefighter’s pension, while also getting paid to work for the town as mayor.
His attorney told the court that for decades, this was allowed under an interpretation of the law used by the state retirement commission.
Maturo’s lawyer has suggested a political motive behind a letter that informed the Republican town leader that he could lose his pension, if he ran for mayor.
When the soft-spoken lawyer for the State Employees Retirement Commission began speaking to the court, Maturo got up from his seat in the gallery, walked to the side of the courtroom where a loud speaker was located, and spent the rest of the session standing at a side wall, with his ear tilted towards the speaker, and one arm resting on a sign.
The attorney for the retirement commission argues that the agency mistakenly interpreted the law at times in the past.
The retirement commission argues that it would be illogical to require an incorrect interpretation of the law to continue.
The commission says it also applied the same new interpretation to a Democratic official, and about a dozen other people.
The lawyer for the commission said in court that even if Maturo loses the case, his pension payments would resume after he stops working as mayor.