Zurik: Taxpayers aren't done paying Peter Galvan - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Lee Zurik Investigation: Taxpayers aren't done paying Peter Galvan

New Orleans, La. -

Dr. Peter Galvan, the now-former St. Tammany Parish coroner, is expected to plead guilty in federal court Wednesday to corruption charges, mostly for him illegally benefiting off public money.

FOX 8 News has obtained a copy of state records that show, in a few years, Galvan will once again keep collecting from the public.

The state retirement system has basically closed the books on Galvan since he resigned from office last week. And now we know how much Galvan will collect, once he retires.

Galvan is only 54 years old, so he'll have to wait six years to start collecting a benefit from the state.

A letter to FOX 8 from the employees retirement system shows Galvan spent 13 and a half years as coroner, and his average final compensation approached $200,000.

Remember, Galvan gave himself lucrative pay raises and made himself the highest-paid elected official in the state. That benefited Galvan in the short term, but as we look to the future, we find it will also benefit Galvan for the rest of his life.

The hefty salary will essentially increase Galvan's retirement benefit. In six years, when he does retire and start collecting a benefit, state records show taxpayers will pay Galvan $80,660 annually, for the rest of his life.

Galvan will still have to pay federal income taxes on that money, but the state retirement system says he's exempt from all Louisiana income taxes.

Last week, Galvan resigned from his public job. If he does in fact plead guilty and get sentenced to time in prison, he'll lose his private medical practice, too. But in six years, taxpayers will once again start paying the former coroner more than $80,000 a year to fund his retirement - for the rest of his life.

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