Man convicted in Riverside murder may keep public pensions -- for now

Criminal convictions don't affect pensions, according to state law

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Thomas Hansen will likely lose his freedom for the rest of his life after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder. But, at least for now, he'll get to keep the lifetime pension benefits he earned as an Iowa City fire official and as Johnson County's emergency management director.

Jurors found the 72-year-old guilty of second-degree murder Friday for fatally shooting his longtime companion to death while she was riding a lawn mower in their backyard in Riverside.

Hansen will face a mandatory prison term of 50 years when he is sentenced Feb. 1. The state says inmates cost about $30,000 to house per year.

Yet Hansen's two taxpayer-funded pensions worth nearly that much will continue, because a criminal conviction has no effect on them under Iowa law.

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