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Ex-Judge Wins Back Pension Despite Conviction for Lying to FBI

Aug. 17, 2022, 4:19 PM

A former municipal court judge in Philadelphia who pleaded guilty to federal counts of making false statements to law enforcement convinced Pennsylvania’s top court to reinstate his pension after the state retirement board determined it had been forfeited.

A Pennsylvania law requires pension forfeiture for public officials convicted of certain state crimes related to their office, or for federal offenses that are “substantively the same” as the state ones. Joseph O’Neill’s conviction for making false statements to federal agents is different from Pennsylvania’s crime of giving false reports to law enforcement, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday.

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