Lawsuit By Fire, Police Retirees Says City Illegally Cut 3% Cost Of Living Increases

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A lawsuit filed Tuesday afternoon by two Chattanooga Police Department retirees and two Chattanooga Fire Department retirees says the city plans to illegally cut their cost of living increases from the present three percent.

Johnny Frazier and Reuben Salter, former police officers, and William Melhorn Jr. and James Gaston, former firefighters, filed the suit against the city and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund.

The case was assigned to Chancellor Frank Brown.

The City Council recently approved the COLA adjustment as well as other modifications to the fire and police pension fund after a task force was formed.

City officials said the action was necessary because the fund could not be sustained at the current rate of spending.

The COLA was cut to 1.5 percent or a maximum two percent.

The suit, filed by attorney Mike Richardson, says under a prior ordinance the three percent rate was guaranteed and was a vested right.

It says the plaintiffs and others in the fund had paid into the fund for years.

The suit asks for an injunction against the city from lowering the COLA. 

Click here to read the lawsuit.

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