Comptroller's office denies pension for widow of DOT inspectorPosted: Updated:
The widow of a Department of Transportation inspector says her pension was denied by the New York state comptroller's office.
Judy Lynch, of Brewster, lost her husband James to lung cancer in 2016. He had just announced his retirement from the DOT after spending 25 years as an inspector at the Poughkeepsie office.
"He inspected school buses. He went in and made sure the safety regulations were in place, that the motor and everything else was running perfectly so the kids would be safe," Judy says.
Lynch learned the state comptroller's office would not give her late husband's pension because James did not finish the proper paperwork before he died.
"We just ran out of time. I don't see how someone can be penalized because they didn't live long enough," she says.
Her husband's supervisor wrote to the DOT asking them to reverse what he called a "wrong," stating, "I was really astonished and felt that I and the department let James down."
The comptroller's press secretary told News 12 in a statement, "Unfortunately, since Mr. Lynch did not apply for retirement, there is no provision in the Retirement and Social Security Law that would allow us to accept an application for retirement after his date of death."
Lynch believes there should be an exception for families like hers and has reached out to lawmakers for help.