It's one of the biggest problems facing our cash-strapped state - pensions - and the push to reform them.
Critics complain cushy retirement benefits have some retirees making more than they did while still working. But, a 17 News investigation found a handful of county cases where retirees are drawing big payments even after losing their jobs, after they were convicted of a crime.
In more than one case, the retiree is collecting checks while still in prison. We're talking about former detentions deputies convicted of having sex with inmates and another jailer convicted of beating an inmate to death.
Today, they get paid thousands of dollars in taxpayer money through retirement.
A picture shows how inmate James Moore looked minutes before his death. It was snapped by one of the jailers convicted in his brutal beating.
The county settled for $6 million with Moore's family. And, it cost detention deputy Daniel Lindini two years of his freedom.
But, what it didn't cost was Lindini's $44,000 pension.
"It just, just to see James in that hospital bed, he was unrecognizable," said Josie Chapman, Moore's sister.
We went to talk to Lindini at his home where he declined to go on camera. But, he called us later and insisted he's due the money. "What a joke," Lindini told 17's Kiyoshi Tomono. "I spent 26 years in the department and never had a single problem before this. You can't take something that a person has earned, whether they get in trouble is irrelevant."
Lindini denied he put his forearm across Moore's neck or did anything that contributed to his death. but he said, "Even if someone did make one mistake you shouldn't be able to take their entire pension from them. You are taking away a man's means to support his family simply because of one incident."
"He took away James' family's support and his ability to provide for his family," responded Chapman, Moore's sister.
Lindini retired in March 2006, seven months after Moore's death.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood couldn't talk about Lindini's employment in specific because he wasn't Sheriff then. But, he said, in general, his department must send an official letter if it intends to terminate or discipline an employee. And, the employee has five days to respond--including retiring--before any action is taken.
But, Lindini isn't the only one still collecting a pension following misdeeds on the job.
Margarita Young was convicted of having sex with a tattooed inmate in a broom closet and bathroom at Lerdo Jail. She receives almost $36,000 in pensions each year and has declined repeated past requests for an interview.
And, Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Allen Lackey lost his job after molesting three young girls. He retired five months before he was sentenced in 2005. Records show he receives almost $44,000 a year.
Then there's the infamous case of Chris Hillis who won a $45,000 stress retirement shortly before being convicted of killing Deputy District Attorney Steven Tauzer over Tauzer's unusually close involvement with Hillis' drug-addicted son. Hillis still sits in Avenal State Prison.
"An incarcerated retiree may authorize payments to be directly deposited into the retiree's bank account just like any other retiree," said Anne Holdren, Kern County Employees Retirement Association.
Josie Chapman thinks it just isn't right. "I think the law should be changed. I think there are certain acts you can do on a job that should restrict pensions. I think killing someone on the job should restrict you from getting a pension."