Zurik: Pastuszek retirement coming under auditor's scopes - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Zurik: Pastuszek retirement coming under auditor's scopes

NOLA.com file image of Harry Pastuszek NOLA.com file image of Harry Pastuszek
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The state's legislative auditor will look into an arrangement between a North Shore attorney and the St. Tammany Parish district attorney. It's an arrangement FOX 8 News and NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune first reported last week – it has allowed attorney Harry Pastuszek to begin collecting almost $150,000 a year in public retirement.

Pastuszek receives that hefty retirement, in large part because of public legal work he did for the St. Tammany Parish School Board. The DA's office considered Pastuszek an employee at that time, and all of that legal work for the school system was credited toward a future retirement through the DA's office.

But a review of payments shows no money went directly to Pastuszek; it went instead to his law firm.

FOX 8 and NOLA.com obtained a 2007 resolution from the school board that shows an agreement for legal services with Pastuszek's law firm. Legal experts question how Pastuszek - who has served the school board since 1992 - could qualify for a public retirement if his law firm was making the money, not him personally.

Pete Adams, the head of the La. District Attorney's Retirement System, says he's asked the auditor to look into the payroll practices and retirement contributions of attorney Harry Pastuszek.

Also Wednesday, DA Walter Reed released a lengthy statement on Pastuszek, saying there is nothing improper about the arrangement. He did not address, though, how Pastuszek would get retirement credit when his law firm was earning the money and not him personally.

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