- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who abruptly retired in late October after being linked to a pornographic government email scandal is collecting an $11,000-a-month public pension.
The State Employees' Retirement System told the Associated Press yesterday that Seamus McCaffery cashed out $455,000 of his own contributions plus compounded interest, leaving him with a $134,000 annual pension.
McCaffery's years of service included time as a judge in Philadelphia and on state Superior Court and were augmented with 2.6 years of military service. He did not designate anyone to collect a portion of the pension upon his death, which would have decreased his monthly payments.
The elected Democratic justice retired after seven years on the state's highest court. His colleagues had just suspended him amid ethics investigations that dealt in part with his role sending or receiving emails with explicit content or pornographic images.
McCaffery did not return a call yesterday to his former chambers, where a phone machine is taking his messages.
He had apologized for his role in the emails, in which dozens of current and former employees of the state Attorney General's Office have been implicated. Attorney General Kathleen Kane said a month ago that four of her employees had been fired, 11 suspended without pay and others reprimanded or counseled as a result.
McCaffery's sudden departure from the seven-justice court came shortly after Chief Justice Ron Castille disclosed publicly that McCaffery had sent or received 234 of the emails between late 2008 and May 2012.
A fellow justice, Michael Eakin, had also gone public with an accusation that McCaffery tried to coerce him into taking his side against Castille.
McCaffery said Castille had a vendetta against him.
"This latest cooked-up controversy over my personal emails is part of a vindictive pattern of attacks by the soon-to-be-retired chief justice," he said at the time. Castille has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 and is retiring at the end of this month.
McCaffery, 64, was a homicide detective in Philadelphia and gained some fame as a municipal judge in Philadelphia by presiding over a special court set up inside the old Veterans Stadium during NFL games. He served on Superior Court before being elected as a justice.