Shahadey to keep his deputy sheriff pension despite facing federal charges

WTHI Photo, Mike Latta
WTHI Photo, Mike Latta

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Former Vigo County deputy sheriff Frank Shahadey will receive his pension that both state and federal law say he earned over the course of his 37 year career. That’s according to Sheriff Greg Ewing, who met with News 10 to explain why this is the case.

“And that’s a logical question for anybody to ask,” Ewing said.

Shahadey faces federal charges of fraud and theft related to an alleged kickback scheme. Federal agents believe Shahadey and Franklin Fennell bilked more than $80,000 from the Vigo County School Corporation. VCSC fired both men following their arrest.

Ewing says federal law protects pensions, as the law considers pensions something that is earned in the past. Ewing says Indiana law governs merit boards, which exist to hire, promote and terminate merited employees like Shahadey. Ewing said he filed termination paperwork with the merit board, however Shahadey submitted his resignation prior to the process starting.

“When Frank turned in his resignation, he effectively took all of that authority from the merit board,” Ewing said.

At that point, whether Shahadey received his pension boiled down to his age and length of service. Indiana law requires deputy sheriffs to serve 20 years and reach the age of 52 to become vested for his or her pension. Shahadey was 60 years old and had served 37 years when he resigned.

Ewing says a conviction changes nothing.