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Fox 8 Investigates: Strain will get more than $10K a month in pension

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Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:44 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The head of the state pension fund releases information to the Fox 8 Investigative unit, which shows that former St Tammany sheriff Jack Strain will likely earn more than $10,000 a month in pension even though he’s been convicted in both state and federal courts.

Citizen groups are not happy, but hope that the payments offer a silver lining for victims.

For 20 years Jack Strain served as sheriff of St. Tammany Parish, accruing sizable benefits in the Louisiana sheriffs pension and relief fund, which he is now entitled to.

“It’s just a sad thing when you think about the crimes committed to these individuals and he can sit there and have $11,000 a month coming in,” said Rick Franzo, with the group, ’Concerned Citizens of St Tammany.’

The sheriff’s pension fund tells Fox 8 the amount is actually $10,656 a month which Jack Strain is entitled to receive, in spite of a 2013 law that prohibits public officials from getting state pension funds after being convicted of a crime.

“They are probably going to litigate all of this, first of all, the time of his last election, does that make them eligible to seize his pension,” said Fox 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti.

Late last year, Strain was convicted of public corruption in federal court and 8 sex crimes in state court, with multiple victims.

“His crimes were so heinous, I hope the judge can get restitution out of that money so the victims can get something out of this one,” said Franzo.

So far, the head of the state pension board says he’s received no notification from either federal or state court of any effort to stop the pension payments, meaning those payments will likely go through. Board Chief Skip McGee tells Fox 8, that ‘If an elected official was in service before the law was passed the law would not apply to them.’

“I think the citizens of St Tammany want all that money to go to restitution to those victims,” said Franzo.

At least one prosecutor has begun pushing for restitution.

“If they can get restitution out of him, they may want those pension benefits to continue in order to seize that money as it comes along to him for the people who are supposed to get the restitution,” said Raspanti.

Restitution issues are still being hashed out in court but could be made possible thanks to pension benefits which will likely go to Jack Strain.

This week, state court judge Bruce Simpson indicated that most restitution claims are restricted because the crimes occurred before the state law was passed. However, he did indicate that one of Strain’s victims could likely recover some money.

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