Retired Jackson cops sue city over health payments, city counter-sues

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) -- A group of retired police officers who served the city of Jackson is now suing the city.

The former cops say the city isn't paying them enough for healthcare costs.

But the city has counter-sued, claiming they overpaid the retirees to begin with, and they now want the money back.

"We support our retirees 100 percent. We don't want to support them 150 percent," said City Public Information Officer Will Forgrave.

Forgrave says 10 years ago the city of Jackson changed health insurance providers to save money.

But the city says, at the time, they didn't notice the cost savings meant a reduced pay-out to retired police officers who chose to opt out of the city's health plan.

"When we caught it, we cut that down to 50 percent where it's due, according to the contracts, and that's where this lawsuit stems from," Forgrave said.

A group of 23 retired police officers are banding together to sue the city, saying the reduction violates their retirement agreements.

The group's lawyer didn't respond to messages for comment.

But he recently told our media partners at the Jackson Citizen Patriot the retirees are being shorted the money owed to them by the city, and some are seeing a big reduction in health payments.

"Our argument is that it's pretty clear in the contract that we're paying half no matter what the time is," Forgrave said.

The city is now counter-suing the retired officers, saying they were over-paying them for years and they want that money back.

"We're not going to roll over and spend taxpayer funds that we don't need to. We want to save as much money as possible so we can provide it all residents, not just retirees," Forgrave said.

The lawsuit has its first court date next month.

"We think the city is being fair," Forgrave said.

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