JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It might seem like an egregious misuse of taxpayer dollar, but your state attorney says moving about $340,000 into her and another prosecutor's retirement fund was done legally and according to state law.
"It's one-time money, and I want to make sure the taxpayers are clear. This came out of part of last year's budget but it didn't affect raises, it didn't affect the cost of prosecution, it didn't affect anything else," Corey tells our partner Action News.
Corey says her office has saved taxpayers $2 million in her first three fiscal years and even at a time when governments are gutting their budgets, Corey says it's money she and her state prosecutors are entitled by law.
"I didn't take anything. It's set by state statute," says Corey.
When Corey and Bernie de la Rionda, the other prosecutor who received part of that money, were hired state pension law required 1.6 percent of their paycheck to go toward retirement, but in 2001 the legislature notched that up to 2 percent.
"It's their entitlement. Whatever the law allows for career prosecutors is what we intend to do to keep them."
Corey says this is just the beginning because 19 other prosecutors are also eligible for the same money. She says taxpayers pay their salaries as designed by law and wonders why they wouldn't want to pay what's authorized by law.