A. Notwithstanding any other law, if a member of a state retirement system or plan is convicted of or pleads no contest to an offense that is a class 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 felony and that was committed in the course of the member’s employment as a public official or for a public employer, the court shall order the person‘s membership terminated and the person shall forfeit all rights and benefits earned under the state retirement system or plan.  A member who forfeits all rights and benefits earned pursuant to this section is entitled to receive, in a lump sum amount, the member’s contribution to the state retirement system or plan plus interest as determined by the board of that state retirement system or plan, less any benefits received by the member.

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 13-713

  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • Benefit: means anything of value or advantage, present or prospective. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Conduct: means an act or omission and its accompanying culpable mental state. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Felony: means an offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in the custody of the state department of corrections is authorized by any law of this state. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • including: means not limited to and is not a term of exclusion. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Person: means a human being and, as the context requires, an enterprise, a public or private corporation, an unincorporated association, a partnership, a firm, a society, a government, a governmental authority or an individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Property: means anything of value, tangible or intangible. See Arizona Laws 3-1703

B. An order forfeiting a member’s benefits on conviction of an offense listed in subsection A shall not be stayed on the filing of any appeal of the conviction.  While an appeal of the conviction is being adjudicated and until a final judgment is issued, for a member who is not receiving benefits, the member and the member’s employer are required to continue making contributions to the retirement system or plan and for a member who is receiving benefits, the retirement system or plan shall suspend payments to the member and hold the assets in trust.  If the conviction is reversed on final judgment, no rights or benefits shall be forfeited and the member’s membership shall be reinstated.

C. Notwithstanding subsection A, the court may award to a spouse, dependent or former spouse of a member who is subject to subsection A some or all of the amount that was forfeited under subsection A. The award under this subsection shall not require the board of the state retirement system or plan to provide any type, form or time of payment of severance, survivor or retirement benefits or any severance, survivor or retirement benefit option that is not provided by the laws governing the state retirement system or plan from which the award is being made.  In determining whether to make an award under this subsection, the judge shall consider the totality of circumstances, including:

1. The role, if any, of the person’s spouse, dependent or former spouse in connection with the illegal conduct for which the person was convicted.

2. The degree of knowledge, if any, possessed by the person’s spouse, dependent or former spouse in connection with the illegal conduct for which the person was convicted.

3. The community property nature of the benefits involved.

4. The extent to which the person’s spouse, dependent or former spouse was relying on the forfeited benefits.

D. Notwithstanding subsection H, the court shall order that a person who is subject to forfeiture under this section is ineligible for future membership in any state retirement system or plan.

E. The court shall provide a copy of the order of forfeiture to the state retirement system or plan to which it applies.

F. This section does not apply to a member whose most recent retirement occurs before the effective date of this section, unless the member has resumed making contributions to the state retirement system or plan.

G. Notwithstanding subsection A, a court shall not order the forfeiture of rights and benefits earned under the state retirement system or plan that accrued before the effective date of this section or for a felony committed before the effective date of this section.

H. This section applies only to the state retirement system or plan in which the person was a contributing member at the time the offense was committed.

I. For the purposes of this section, "state retirement system or plan" means the Arizona state retirement system established by title 38, chapter 5, article 2, the elected officials’ retirement plan established by title 38, chapter 5, article 3, the public safety personnel retirement system established by title 38, chapter 5, article 4 and the corrections officer retirement plan established by title 38, chapter 5, article 6.