PARKLAND — Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer who was present at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the February massacre that killed 17 students and teachers, resigned in disgrace following the revelation that he hid outside the school while he knew the shooting was going on.
It appears that “disgrace” is the full extent of the formal punishment Peterson will receive, as he’s still eligible to draw his whopping $8,702.35-a-month state pension.
Peterson’s pension amount was determined by a formula factoring in his 32 years on the job and averaging his highest-earning five years.
For the cowardly cop, whose base salary last year was $75,673.72, the pension actually constitutes a raise, and Peterson, 54, will be receiving it for the rest of his life.
The pension could be revoked only if Peterson were to be convicted of a crime, but his hasty resignation makes it unlikely that he will be called to account for his failure to act during the Parkland massacre.
When totaled, the gratuitous pension amounts to over $100,000 year, and over $3,000,000 of pay-outs if Peterson lives another 30 years, which is entirely possible.
One (of many) who feels that the former school resource officer deserves something other than a long retirement in the lap of luxury for his performance is Andrew Pollack, father of 17-year-old student Meadow Pollack (who was killed in the mass shooting), who recently filed suit against Peterson for his failure to act.
“He could have stopped [the shooter].” Pollack stated simply. “Could have saved my kid. Nobody should be able to not do their job, receive a pension and ride off into the sunset.”
Presumably, Pollack is even more appalled now that excessive amount of that pension has been disclosed.
Meadow’s brother, Hunter Pollack, added via his Twitter account: “My family wants the world to know this is the guy that hid behind a concrete wall while kids and teachers were killed.”
Peterson has found few friends in the aftermath of shooting. Even his colleague Scott Israel, the Broward County Sheriff, spoke out against the resource officer in distinctly unflattering terms.
“It makes me sick to my stomach that we had a deputy that didn’t go in,” Israel said.
The Pollack family are also suing the shooting suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, but Andrew has acknowledged that Peterson is his “main target.”
Joseph DiRuzzo, Peterson’s attorney, spoke in his defense immediately following the shooting.
“Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” DiRuzzo said.
It’s something a court will ultimately have to decide. In any event, it appears that Mr. Pollack’s “target” in the civil suit may have deeper pockets than anyone suspected.