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Pension collapse the focus of federal probe

Senator James Tedisco and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara
Dave Lucas
Republican State Senator James Tedisco and Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara have worked together to assist the St. Clare's pensioners.

Federal officials are looking into the St. Clare's pension collapse.

Over 1,100 health care professionals who worked at the former St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady lost some or all of their retirement savings when the pension fund dried up in 2019 following a move to drop the fund's federal pension insurance protection in the 1990s.

Democratic state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara says because federal laws preempt most potential state regulations regarding pensions, he's encouraged to see federal interest in St. Clare's.

"There's an ongoing investigation by the Government Accountability Office in Washington D.C., on the status of church affiliated pension plans nationwide," said Santabarbara. "Part of why that investigation was underway, it's because of the coverage that the St. Clare's pension crisis has attracted here in the city of Schenectady."

The pensioners worry that the Albany Diocese’s bankruptcy declaration last week will further endanger their legal battle.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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