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Former Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer convicted of sexual battery to get pension

11:02 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former JSO officer Richard Cannon won a major victory from behind bars December 10th.

The Police and Fire Pension Fund voted 3 to 1 to reinstate his pension from 25 years on the police force.

But why is a convicted felon getting a pension from the City of Jacksonville?

"There has to be some type of connection to the job. This is not just based on the severity of the crime. This has to have some relationship to the role of the public official," said Labor Attorney Tad Delegal.

Delegal didn't work on Cannon's case, but said he's not surprised he's keeping his pension.

He was convicted of sexual battery against two minor girls in 2011 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Even though Cannon is a convicted felon, if the convictions aren't directly related to his job, according to Florida law, he keeps the money.

"The public official has a vested property interest in a pension. Just like owning a piece of property. You have a right to a pension, once a certain time is passed," he said.

Even then, one pension trustee still voted not to reinstate Cannon's pension.

None of the Pension Board Members or trustees returned First Coast News' calls for comment.

But Delegal said Cannon's attorney must have convinced the board that his crime was not connected to his job as a police officer.

"In order to take away somebody's pension, you have to specifically prove each of those things," said Delegal.

First Coast News

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