A bill introduced by the West Virginia legislature would make it a criminal offense for any participating public employer of any retirement system administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board to fail to make required contributions.
It would also authorize the State Auditor, county commission and sheriff to withhold any money due the participating public employer by the state or county and to remit the monies to the applicable retirement system. If any participating public employer fails to make any payment due any retirement system administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board for a period of 60 days after the payment is due, the participating public employer shall become delinquent, and such delinquency shall be certified by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board to the State Auditor, the county commission of the county in which the participating public employer is located, and/or the sheriff of the county in which the participating public employer is located.
In addition to any other penalty or punishment otherwise prescribed by law, the bill provides that any employer who is party to an agreement to pay or provide benefits or wage supplements and who without reasonable justification willfully fails or refuses to pay the amount or amounts necessary to provide such benefits or furnish such supplements within thirty days after such payments are required to be made, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500. When such employer is a corporation, the president, secretary, treasurer or officer exercising responsibility for such nonpayment shall be guilty of the offense.In addition, any public official who is responsible for ensuring that a public entity comply with the general laws and provisions of a public pension plan administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board who knowingly and willfully fails to make employee or employer contributions to the retirement plan shall be guilty of the larceny of the contributions owed, and, if the amount is $1,000 or more, such public official shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than 10 years, or, in the discretion of the court, be confined in jail not more than one year and shall be fined not more than $2,500. If the amount is less than $1,000, such public official shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for a term not to exceed one year or fined not to exceed $2,500, or both, in the discretion of the court.