Press "Enter" to skip to content

Hypocrite! Shawn Nelson Opts To Take Government Pension

R. Shawn Nelson, 4th District Supervisor

Former Fullerton City Councilman R. Shawn Nelson rode a wave of anti-government employee pension hysteria to victory in the June Primary/Special election for the Orange County Board of Supervisors 4th District seat. During the campaign he assailed the pension benefits for public employees. Nelson’s attacks on public employee pensions. while he was a member of the Fullerton City Council  and during the primary campaign, lead us to Today’s Word

Hypocrite “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.”

At a May 5th Candidate Forum Shawn Nelson said;

“The programs with retirement should not have non-safety personnel retiring at the age of 55. It’s absurd. They should also not be guaranteed by the tax payer. They should be defined contribution (similar to a 401K) and retirement at least after 60, if not 65.”

The Voice of OC’s Norberto Santana, Jr. asked an interesting question the day before Shawn Nelson took his seat on the Board;

Under a little-known and not publicized state law, each county supervisor has to actually decide to opt into the county’s pension system to get the same benefit most employees do. Read More.

In response to Norberto’s question I wrote in my post Shawn Nelson’s First Day:

I always thought that Supervisors and other County elected officials were automatically enrolled in the county pension plan. With the new hybrid pension plan available as an option the elected official has to make an affirmative decision. Supervisor Nelson will be the first Supervisor that will need to decide to either stay out of the retirement system, or join by choosing the 2.7% @ 55 benefit or the hybrid plan. By statute a newly elected Supervisor would need to ask to be enrolled in the pension plan at the time they enter the payroll system.

I learned today that Supervisor Shawn Nelson decided to opt in to the County Pension Plan. I am still waiting to find out if he chose the Hybrid Plan, which he claimed on his first day was flawed, or if he took the plan that lets him retire at 55 years old.

UPDATE: We heard from Chip Hanlon over at, who has written about this here, that he learned for the Director of OC Human Resources thatNelson chose the 2.7% @ 55 defined benefit plan.

I did get the chance to ask Jennifer Muir over at Orange County Employee’s Association (OCEA) what she thought of Supervisor Nelson’s decision.

“I think it’s a positive step that he took it because it demonstrates that even critics of the system — once they examine the facts — realize that in the long term, pensions aren’t as detrimental to taxpayers as some would believe,” OCEA Communications Director Jennifer Muir said.

Muir has a good point. However I find it strange, in light of all of the anti-pension and anti-public employee rhetoric that Nelson spewed forth during the primary campaign, that he would opt in to the very pension plan that he was so hyper-critical of.

What I think it demonstrates is that Shawn Nelson had no problem saying whatever he needed to say to get elected. Now that he’s in, he quietly accepts the benefit of what he so strongly opposed during his campaign. For the record, since he pays nothing towards the employee portion of his benefit, Shawn Nelson is helping increase the very pension contributions he claims are bankrupting the county.

Which leads us back to Today’s Word,



  1. Used to Care Says Used to Care Says August 11, 2010

    Well, if you don’t like him, he is up for re-election in November! Vote him out!

  2. Grover Cleveland Grover Cleveland August 11, 2010

    I predict complete silence from Nelson boot-lickers Allan Bartlett on his FaceBook page, Tony Bushala on Fullerton Fringers, and John Seiler on Orange Punch.

    Or they’ll make excuses for Nelson.

  3. RHackett RHackett August 12, 2010

    As of this writing there is nothing on either blog.

    No surprises.

  4. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski August 12, 2010

    so where is Steven Greenhut on this? No word from the Nelson supporters either

  5. pagra pagra August 12, 2010

    It is rumored that he demanded that his office @ Hall of Administration be kept at a constant 62 degrees. He must be made of Ice Cream.

  6. Beckhole Beckhole August 12, 2010

    Nelson is a huge hypocrite. In the end his greed would not allow him to follow his conscience. Turning down a pension is all fine and well in the teabagging abstract, but guys like Nelson are ultimately only motivated by money. He figures he has it all in the bag and does not need the political points that opting out would have garnered him. Guys like Nelson will ALWAYS do what is in their own economic interest and spin it politically later.

  7. Beckhole Beckhole August 12, 2010

    The last time I saw Nelson in person he looked like he was moonlighting as an Elvis impersonator with jet black hair (the fat Vegas years mind you). If the above picture is to be believed he must have enough money to give up the night gig. It then also stands to reason that he is in a position to have passed on the small pension.

  8. Jake Jake August 13, 2010

    @Beckhole – I share your political views, but making personal comments about someone’s appearance won’t win an argument –unless the argument is that political discussion inevitably become juvenile. Keep on point and you’ll make more wins. All the best. Jake

  9. Beckhole Beckhole August 13, 2010

    Jake, you are correct, and I’ll try to keep what you said in mind. I was thinking in terms that his dyed jet black Elvis hair experiment during the election was symbolic of his pension reform fraud. I admittedly went too far referencing his weight. Thanks.

Comments are closed.