[Source: Michael Ferraresi and Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Retired Phoenix city employees may no longer be rehired to perform their previous duties, according to a policy authorized by City Manager Frank Fairbanks this week. And employees now must wait at least six months after retirement before they can begin to negotiate another role with the city.
Critics say the new regulation would have prevented top cop Jack Harris from being rehired by the city as a public-safety manager just two months after he retired as police chief in 2007. Under the arrangement with him, Harris was expected to draw a $90,000 pension while collecting an annual salary of at least $120,000 for his current job, according to past media reports. “Personally, if you call him police chief, I think you’re putting his pension as risk,” said Mark Spencer, president of Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. Police administrators defended Harris, saying he was rehired into a different role with expanded emergency-management responsibilities critical to keeping Phoenix residents safe…
Several years ago, as the Valley’s economy was charging ahead, Phoenix had a difficult time recruiting certain types of employees, Fairbanks said. To fill vacant positions, the city began hiring retirees as part-time employees. “We actually took a look at the practice and decided it was the wrong thing to do,” Fairbanks said. “The Personnel and Law departments have come up with new regulation to make sure it doesn’t occur in the future.”
The rehiring policy, known as A.R. 2.92:
- Prohibits retirees from being rehired to perform their original job duties.
- Requires retires to wait at least six months before they can sign a contract for a new role with the city, though there are some exceptions.
- Requires the heads of the Personnel and Budget and Research departments to sign off on the rehiring of a retiree.
- Limits contracts with retirees to one year.
- Allows the city manager to grant specific exceptions to the rule “in extreme and unusual circumstances.”
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