County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.
Press Release

Abele Administration Blocks Efforts to Understand Impact of Pension Errors

Abele administration has kept hidden a 2014 Voluntary Correction Plan report on pension errors for nearly three years

By - Mar 1st, 2017 11:51 am
Theo Lipscomb and Chris Abele.

Theo Lipscomb and Chris Abele.

Milwaukee – A growing list of errors in the administration of Milwaukee County’s pension plan, and efforts to conceal them, has revealed that County Executive Abele is not focused on effectively managing the day to day operations of county government.

County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., has repeatedly demanded a full accounting of all the known pension errors, their impact on current and future retirees, and the potential costs to taxpayers, but has been stonewalled by the Abele administration.

“While County Executive Abele was lobbying for unprecedented new powers from Madison he ignored the core responsibilities of his job and failed to provide adequate day to day management of county business. Now that a growing list of mistakes has finally come to light, he has sought to withhold information the public deserves to know,” said Lipscomb.

The Abele administration has kept hidden a 2014 Voluntary Correction Plan (VCP) report on pension errors for nearly three years, only sharing the report in late January after Lipscomb and other supervisors repeatedly demanded to be provided with it.

Although Abele appointees previously promised to provide county supervisors with a full explanation of known pension errors detailed in the 2014 report and elsewhere, the Abele administration is now backpedaling on that commitment, saying via email on February 27 that “all the reports may not be done in time for the March cycle.”

The Abele administration has ignored repeated requests to quantify the potential fiscal impacts of the errors detailed in the 2014 and other VCP reports, which could impact the upwards of $50 million budget gap identified by the budget director for 2018. Additional questions also went unanswered.

The latest errors come just a few months after the Abele administration delayed disclosure a $17 million pension error, only revealing the scope and magnitude of the problem after supervisors completed final action on the 2017 budget, denying supervisors the opportunity to adjust the 2017 budget and prepare for long-term fiscal impacts of the mistakes.

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