The $174,000 “owed” to Pat Santeramo may be understandable when dealing with contracted benefits, but the rank and file won’t swallow it so easily.

Neither will they easily swallow Santeramo’s double dipping retirement benefits.

As a shop teacher “on assignment,” Santeramo is due to collect on years of participation in the Florida Retirement System (FRS) the same benefits earned by the rank and file.

But for up to ten years, he also has access to fat, overly generous union pension contributions which can possibly outweigh his long term FRS payout.

After all, how many rank and file teachers got a “free” $24,000 contribution to their retirement accounts in 2010?

For that matter, how many of the “rest of us” got a “free” $24,000 contribution to our retirement accounts?

An example of elitist fat cats giving themselves benefits none of the members can even dream of getting?  You be the judge.

It strikes me as the real 1% vs. the real 99%.

“Occupy BTU” protest, anyone?

According to the Sun Sentinel, Santeramo is the focus of a criminal investigation and an inquiry by the state elections commission.

His benefits need to be held up until the investigations are complete, contract or no.

If there were no malfeasance or criminal acts clauses in his contract, shame on the union.

And should there be a criminal indictment and resulting conviction, those benefits, both FRS and union should be revoked entirely.

Ken Jenne won’t be getting his retirement.

Bev Gallagher won’t be getting hers, either.

If Santeramo is tried and convicted (that’s if) neither should he.