Jan 24, 2022 - Politics

Former Philadelphia City Councilmember Bobby Henon may lose pension

Ex-City Councilperson Bobby Henon

Former City Councilperson Bobby Henon walks to the federal courthouse in Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 2021. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Former Philadelphia City Councilperson Bobby Henon already lost his office, and now he's at risk of losing his city pension.

State of play: Henon, who resigned from office Thursday following his federal conviction, is on track to receive a more than $4,500 monthly pension, starting at the age 55, for his decadelong career on the council. He's 53.

Yes, but: City and state laws allow for the forfeiture of public pensions for employees convicted of crimes related to their public office or employment.

  • The Kenney administration has requested a legal opinion from the city Law Department over the matter, which is a standard process, city spokesperson Kevin Lessard said on Friday.

How it works: The city's Board of Pensions and Retirement ultimately decides whether to disqualify a public employee from receiving their pension. But the agency must first receive a legal opinion from the Law Department on the matter.

  • The board disqualified 12 pensions between 2017 and 2021, according to the city.

What they're saying: The board's executive director Francis Bielli said they haven't received a legal opinion as of Friday.

  • But Lessard said the board is "likely" to decide the fate of Henon's pension at its Jan. 27 virtual meeting.
  • "We anticipate that we will receive an opinion before [Thursday's] meeting," Bielli said.

Of note: Henon and his lawyer, Brian McMonagle, did not return requests seeking comment.

What to watch: Henon is scheduled to be sentenced in February.


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