Bogalusa Addresses Police Pension Fund Delays
Published 5:57 pm Saturday, December 16, 2023
BOGALUSA, La. – The Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS) has raised concerns regarding the City of Bogalusa’s delayed contributions to the police pension fund. This situation has led to discussions about potential legal action.
The issue came to light when Taylor Camp, Chief Financial Officer of MPERS, informed the city of its missed payments for October and November. Mayor Tyrin Truong, upon learning of the situation, reportedly from social media, indicated that the October payment had been completed the previous Friday, with plans to settle the November payment by the upcoming Monday. The Daily News has received an email thread showing that the most recent payment posted by the city was for its October 2023 payment to MPERS.
In a letter to Mayor Truong, Ben Huxen, Executive Director and General Counsel of MPERS, outlined the possibility of legal action, including a writ of mandamus, if the city fails to fulfill its obligations by January 10, 2024. This letter, which also referenced the city’s legal duties under Louisiana law, was distributed to state legislators and local council members, highlighting the urgency of the matter.
The mayor said that MPERS emails were reportedly being sent to the email addresses of the previous city administration. Truong said this issue would be resolved during the upcoming City Council meeting. Former Mayor Wendy Quin-Perrette made a statement on the issue, saying that Truong is “creating an artificial fiscal crisis in an effort to eliminate the Bogalusa Police Department.”
Louisiana statute R.S. 11:2227(B) mandates that municipalities deduct 10% from police officers’ salaries for their retirement fund. The city’s delay in making these deductions has resulted in financial penalties and the threat of legal implications. MPERS has also warned of potential additional costs, including legal and actuarial fees.
*Updated at 2:50 P.M. 12/17/23 to include email screenshot and quote from former Mayor of Bogalusa.