The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019

Kennedy explains retirement decision

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

To Van Wert County Prosecutor Charles F. Kennedy III, retiring and continuing to work is not “double-dipping,” but merely protecting his family from the vagaries of the state pension system.

“First of all, I am putting my family first,” Kennedy said in a letter to local media, adding that, at present, there is uncertainty concerning pension reform efforts in the state. “Given this uncertainty, I want to provide a degree of financial certainty for my family, and lock into a known retirement system now, so that if there are major changes when the General Assembly finally acts, I don’t find myself being forced to work for a longer period of time, or making other major changes.”

County Prosecutor Charles F. Kennedy III

Kennedy, who announced his retirement, effective June 30, in a letter sent last week to the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners, plans to continue working as county prosecutor and would either be appointed as interim prosecutor by the commissioners, be named to fill his own position by the County Republican Central Committee, which has pledged to meet by the week of July 9, or take office in January when his new four-year term begins (he is running unopposed for the position).

Kennedy said he feels the decision was the right one for him and his family. “Retiring now relieves uncertainty that may not be beneficial to my family,” he noted.

The county prosecutor’s announcement has generated significant comment in the community, with County Commissioner Thad Lichtensteiger noting his opposition on several occasions to the practice of retiring and then returning to work again in the same position.

Currently, while county employees not elected have to have their requests to retire and return to work approved by the commissioners, following a public hearing on such requests, state law exempts elected officials from either of those requirements.

Kennedy also said that, apart from his wish to protect his family, he is not ready to stop working.

“…simply put, I like to work and I like my job as prosecuting attorney,” Kennedy wrote. “For nearly 24 years now, 40 years counting my military service, I have served the citizens of Van Wert County and my country. To say that I have enjoyed every minute of it would be dishonest, as everyone knows, but overall I have a deep feeling that I have made a meaningful contribution and have served well, and I thank the citizens of Van Wert County for the opportunity they have given me.”

At 64 and in good health, Kennedy said he feels he is “simply not ready to quit and sit on my front porch.”

POSTED: 06/09/12 at 6:44 am. FILED UNDER: News