Mayor Eric Garcetti and leaders of the Los Angeles City Council ignored a report urging them to eliminate, or drastically amend, a controversial program that pays veteran cops and firefighters their salaries and pensions simultaneously for up to five years.
The Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP, was approved by voters in 2001 with a promise that it would keep veteran officers on the job a few years longer with no additional cost to the city.
Last month, a Times investigation found more than 1,200 DROP participants had entered the program and then taken injury leaves at twice their usual pay — some of them staying out for years with bad backs and sore knees. Last week, the newspaper reviewed a 2-year-old, confidential city document warning of serious problems with the program.
At a closed-door meeting of top elected officials in February 2016, then City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana presented a report warning the program “is not and has never been cost neutral,” as originally promised to voters.
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