(07/30/2009)
A former state lawmaker, who once served as the chairman of the legislature's education committee, Jerry Mezzatesta has agreed to resign his job with the Hampshire County board of education in exchange for full retirement benefits.

Mezzatesta was fired in 2005 by the Hampshire County school board because he redirected $35,000 in state Department of Education money to volunteer fire departments.

A judge ruled earlier this year there was no evidence to support the termination and he was given his job back.

Despite his tortuous career, Mezzatesta and the school board have entered into an agreement.

The school board will pay into the state retirement fund the contributions Mezzatesta lost when he wasn't working between 2005-2009.

The school board is also granting Mezzatesta 100 vacation days and 90 personal leave days to be converted into health insurance coverage.

The deal, according to Charleston newspapers, came about by a provision approved by the state legislature earlier this year that allows errors in state retirement calculations to be corrected.

The state Consolidated Retirement Board has to approve the agreement.


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