Taxpayers group wants law on officials' pensions voided

December 07, 1993|By Staff Report

A lawyer representing the head of a county taxpayers group is asking a judge to overturn immediately a four-year-old law that created a lucrative pension fund for elected and appointed officials.

Robert C. Schaeffer, president of the Anne Arundel Taxpayers Association, filed suit in Circuit Court in September seeking to void the pension fund. His attorney, John R. Greiber Jr., said he submitted a motion for summary judgment yesterday in hopes of speeding up the suit and avoiding a lengthy discovery process.

Mr. Greiber argued in his motion that the state constitution requires a bill be advertised "once a week for two successive weeks prior to enactment." County officials have argued that the bill was advertised in two separate weeks, on Wednesday, May 10, and Monday, May 15, 1989. The bill was passed the evening of May 15.

But Mr. Greiber wrote that courts of last resort, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have defined the word "week" as meaning seven consecutive days and two successive weeks as meaning 14 consecutive days.

"Five days does not make a week," Mr. Greiber said, "let alone a week and a successive week. [Citizens] haven't had fundamental, sufficient, meaningful notice, and therefore this bill is invalid from the day it was passed."

Assistant County Attorney David Plymyer, who has two weeks to file a response to the motion, declined to comment yesterday. After the county's response is received, the court will set a hearing date.

Trial is scheduled for March 14.

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