Norwich board delays action on Bilda's pension

Norwich — The Personnel and Pension Board delayed a vote on the pension application for former Norwich Public Utilities General Manager John Bilda.

The move came after the board met behind closed doors for nearly two hours to discuss legal advice on issues related to the time from Bilda’s Dec. 31 resignation and his retirement, effective April 10, as spelled out in a separation agreement with the utilities commission.

The Board of Public Utilities Commissioners approved a separation agreement with Bilda on Jan. 22 after he had been placed on paid administrative leave following a Nov. 8 indictment on four federal corruption charges.

The agreement called for Bilda to resign on Dec. 31, but effective April 10, after he reached his 30th anniversary of employment at NPU. From Jan. 1 through April 10, the agreement called for Bilda to be paid a token $10 per month in wages with a per diem calculation based on 20 “working days” per month, but that he “shall not perform any duties associated with his position as general manager.”

The agreement stated Bilda “shall be considered to have retired in good standing,” eligible for full pension as well as payment for 864 hours of accrued sick time and 296 hours of accrued vacation time.

The Personnel and Pension Board received his application for a city pension effective April 10, but pension board members questioned the separation agreement provisions and sought advice from independent attorney Kenneth Plumb.

The board tabled any action on Bilda's application until its June meeting.

c.bessette@theday.com

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