|D'Errico says he followed bad advice.|
In 2004 the trustees voted to lower the retirement age to fifty and allow an "opt out" provision to the officers pension plan. This "opt out" provision allowed senior officers who paid the maximum amount into the pension plan to stop paying their employee share and instead put their contribution into their own annuity account for their own enrichment. The change had a profoundly negative impact on the financial health of the plan.
At the time of the change to the officers pension plan, Michael Forde was approaching fifty years of age and facing trial along with Martin Devereaux, in connection to their September 6, 2000 bribery case.
The two were convicted in that case in 2004, but a Manhattan Supreme Court justice tossed the conviction in 2005 because some jurors had read news accounts of the case. The pair was acquitted after a second trial in June 2008.
D’Errico who is also director of operations of the New York City District Council of Carpenters and president of local 157 made the stunning remark at the November 15, union meeting when asked a question about the status of the “Officers Pension Plan.”