CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The city of Charlotte has canceled a formal press conference on Wednesday announcing CMPD Chief Kerr Putney’s retirement amid questions about whether their transition plan is in violation of state law.
BREAKING: Chief Kerr Putney’s retirement press conference has been canceled for tomorrow, per two sources @wsoctv
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) October 8, 2019
In a news release Monday, the city announced Putney “will officially retire Jan. 1, 2020, and following a two-month hiatus, resume his role as police chief in March.”
The state statute, however, defines retirement: “‘Retirement,’ under this article, shall mean the commencement of monthly retirement benefits, along with the termination of employment and the complete separation from active service with no intent or agreement, expressed or implied, to return to service.”
The key phrase under review is, “no intent or agreement, expressed or implied to return to service.”
[PAST COVERAGE: CMPD Chief Kerr Putney retiring at end of year, but will return for RNC]
Did the city of Charlotte’s announcement that Putney is retiring and returning jeopardize its plan?
The city doesn’t appear to think so.
In a statement, the city of Charlotte said: “There is no intent to circumvent the law. The statute does not prohibit hiring back a retiree, which is a widely accepted practice across the country. The statute defines retirement but does not define the terms by which a retiree may return for limited service. We plan to have Chief Putney return to the city in 2020 to run the day-to-day operations of our police department and lead security efforts surrounding the Republican National Convention next summer, while following all rules for retiree hire-backs. We will seek further clarification from the North Carolina retirement system.”
It’s unclear when and if the press conference will be rescheduled. The state treasurer’s office did not return a request for comment.
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