To Serve
and Collect

The Series


About the series

What's an injury worth?

Pension chart


A system abused
The picture says it all: A retired Clearwater firefighter, who gets $1,305 a month in disability for an injured back, lifts a walnut dresser from outside an antique store. John Holsapple's back may have recovered, but the taxpayers who help support him never will. (Published April 7, 1996)

Time to pay attention
One sure way to lull a legislator to sleep is to start talking about police and firefighter pensions. "Most people's eyes just glaze over when you're talking to them," said Carol Marchner, legislative lobbyist for the Florida League of Cities. (Published April 8, 1996)

A sense of shame
Former Largo police officer David Paulsen was at the helm of his 33-foot sailboat two years ago, braving stormy seas for the annual Clearwater to Key West regatta. Four months later, he was awarded a $1,370 monthly disability pension for injuries he received from a car wreck while driving home from a training class. (Published April 9, 1996)

Readers respond to Times series on questionable
pension practices

(published April 13, 1996)

©Copyright 1996, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.