Lawsuit over Tim Fitch’s pension costs St. Louis County taxpayers $621K

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Taxpayers in St. Louis County have come out on the losing end of a legal battle over a former council member’s pension. They’re now out hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they should have paid.

Tim Fitch has been fighting for his pension since 2019. Two county executives were determined to block it. Current County Executive Sam Page has settled the case with Fitch, the former police chief and county councilman.

Fitch won, but taxpayers lost.

Fitch said it was a no-win fight for taxpayers from the start. The fight started in 2019 under former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. Fitch had worked 31 years at the St. Louis County Police Department, including a stint as police chief.

When Fitch got elected to the county council, the Stenger administration determined he was no longer eligible for his $85,000-a-year pension because of that election. The St. Louis County Circuit Court ruled in Fitch’s favor.

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Fitch says he agreed to settle for what the county owned him—$260,000 at the time. At first, Page agreed to the deal, according to Fitch. However, the county executive later had a change of heart and decided to fight it in court.

Following a recommendation by the Missouri Court of Appeals, the county agreed to settle the lawsuit with Fitch.

Fitch would get $339,000 for the four years the pension was withheld. On top of that, the county must pay Fitch an additional $105,000 in interest. The settlement also requires the county to spend $160,000 to cover the cost of Fitch’s lawyers, not including $17,000 for the county’s own outside legal counsel.

FOX 2 reached out to County Executive Sam Page’s office. A spokesman said they have no comment beyond what’s in the settlement agreement.


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