He Didn't Enter School During Shooting, Gets Huge Pension

'This infuriates me,' parent of Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting victim says
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2018 8:23 AM CDT
This Feb. 14, 2018 frame from security video shows Scot Peterson, right, outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.   (Courtesy of the Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – The school resource officer widely criticized for his response to the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting is now the target of abuse over his six-figure pension. Scot Peterson, 55, who retired a week after 17 people died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as he stood outside, began receiving a monthly state pension of $8,702.35 in April, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Over a year, the payments add up to $104,428.20, a few thousand dollars more than Peterson made in his last of 32 years as a Broward County sheriff's deputy, per the Miami Herald. "This guy is a disgrace," says Andrew Pollack, who's suing Peterson over his daughter's death in the shooting. "This infuriates me in ways people cannot comprehend," adds Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was also killed. She "would still be alive if this person did his job."

Peterson, who is to receive the payments until his death, has claimed he took up a "tactical position" outside the school, believing the shots weren't originating inside. However, he's heard on a recording identifying shots as coming from a school building. The police response to the shooting is under review by a state commission, but a March letter from Florida's Department of Management Services notes the sheriff's office and state attorney haven't indicated "any charges or other circumstances" to warrant withholding the pension payments. They do not account for health benefits and are based on years worked and the average of Peterson's five highest-paid fiscal years, per the Sun Sentinel. Records show Peterson earned a base salary of $75,673.72 last year. With overtime and other compensation, his earnings totaled $101,879.03.

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