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New LAPD Chief Received a $1.27 Million Retirement Payout Before Being Rehired

[dropcap size=big]M[/dropcap]ichel "Mike" Moore, who is 58 years old, received a $1.27 million retirement payout in January before being appointed six months later as the new chief of the Los Angeles Police department, an L.A. Times investigation found.

The disclosure puts a cloud over Moore’s early tenure, raising doubts about his vetting process and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s decision to hire Moore over two other finalists, including Deputy Chief Robert Arcos, who was on track to become the city’s first Latino chief of police.

The other candidate was Bill Scott, a African American and LAPD veteran who had left to take over the troubled San Francisco Police Department more than a year ago.

LAPD was already dealing with the fall-out from a controversy over a taxpayer-funded security gig for five officers at the wedding of City Council President Herb Wesson's son late last year. And questions over the shooting deaths of innocent bystanders in two separate hostage situations earlier this year.

The investigation by The Times revealed Moore was able to return to work despite officially retiring as deputy chief through a program informally called “the bounce,” which gives the chief of police the authority to bring back retirees for up to a year in rare cases. The paper reported:

Moore, received the money thanks to his enrollment in the city’s Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP, which pays veteran cops and firefighters their pensions, in addition to their salaries, for the last five years of their careers.

The extra pension payments go into a special account that the employee receives at the end of the five years — so long as they formally retire.

Moore said in an interview that the plan to have him retire and then return almost immediately to work was proposed by former Chief Charlie Beck and approved by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The Times said their investigation found just five instances of the bounce being used since 2008 for officers who had received a DROP payout. Moore was the only deputy chief to be brought back in this scenario. The police chief is exempt from DROP payouts. Moore’s predecessor Charlie Beck lost his DROP payout when he took the top job.

“You may call it suspicious timing, but I didn’t program it that way,” Moore told the LAT. “The point of this was something that would be a benefit to [Beck].”

According to public records, Moore will make close to  $300,000 this year between having his old deputy chief job and the chief job for part of the year. The Times found that Moore walked away with $170,000 in unused sick and vacation pay. When he was hired back as deputy chief in March he was also able to collect his $240,000-per-year pension on top of his salary.

RELATED: Garcetti Goes With Safest Choice In Picking Next Chief of L.A.P.D. ~ Meet Michel 'Mike' Moore

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