Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Holzberger taking hiatus to get pension

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        HAMILTON — As resignations go, this seems likely to be a short one.

        City Councilman Richard Holzberger left his council seat on Saturday so he can begin collecting the pension from a long career as a police officer and Butler County sheriff.

        His chair probably won't be vacant for long. He expects his colleagues to reappoint him Sept. 1.

        Because his job on council — which pays $25 a month — makes him a public employee, he could not collect the $2,500-a-month pension for which he was eligible last summer.

        State law requires he step down for 60 days to draw a pension, Mr. Holzberger said.

        “I was eligible to draw my pension last August, but I decided to honor my commitment as a council member. I did that to be of service to the citizens who elected me,” he said.

        He won election to a two-year council term in 1999, and said he wants to run for a new term in November.

        Mr. Holzberger, 55, was a Hamilton police officer from 1968-88. He was elected Butler County sheriff in 1988 and served one four-year term.

        Forgoing his police pen
sion has cost him thousands of dollars, which he cannot recover.

        “Now it's time to be fair to myself and my family,” he said.

        “Everybody's quite aware of what I'm doing and why. I chose to do it before the campaign so everything's out on the table.”

        Summer is an appropriate time to take a furlough from council because there are fewer meetings, he said.

        “I discussed this with all my six colleagues ... they all said they would bring me back because I'm in tune with the issues,” he said.

        “I'm not trying to double-dip. I'm not trying to harm the city or anyone else. I feel that I'd be unjust to my family to continue drawing $25 month in lieu of a far greater amount.”

        Mr. Holzberger also works as a private investigator and owns a store in downtown Hamilton.


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