Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Common Pleas Judge Taylor resigns; sues for more pension

By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

New Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Taylor has resigned and filed a lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and the state.

Taylor alleges in the lawsuit that he is owed more pension than he's credited for.

Leaving the bench though, he said, is more about his wife's new job in Florida than the lawsuit. But, he added, he feels it would be awkward for a fellow judge to hear his case.

Taylor's last day is Friday, and he plans to temporarily work for the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts office while he prepares to move.

"We've been talking about the move for a year," said Taylor, 54, a former Municipal Court judge and assistant prosecutor who began serving as a Common Pleas Court judge in February.

Gov. Bob Taft will appoint his replacement. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Steve Martin, the court's presiding judge, said a visiting judge will fill in for Taylor until that happens.

If Taylor lives to be as old as his father when he died - at age 89 - the missing pension could add up to $320,000. It's not an amount of money he could let go without a fight, Taylor said.

The discrepancy dates back to the years 1968-1971, when Taylor was a University of Cincinnati student working at Cincinnati General Hospital full time in the accounting department. Cincinnati General Hospital, now University Hospital, was then owned by the city.

Those years were never credited to his city pension. And although he's now part of the state Public Employment Retirement System, that pension would have been transferred to the state system.

It's a battle Taylor said he fought for 13 years before deciding to file suit. "I just have to get a resolution," Taylor said. "Let a judge make the decision."


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