Atlanta Police Chief Denied Pension

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The Atlanta City Council has voted against giving Police Chief Richard Pennington a $10,000 annual increase for his pension plan.

City officials had proposed the raise before the shooting death of 88-year-old Katherine Johnston by police officers on November 21 during a drug raid. But several council members say raising the chief's compensation after the shooting would send the wrong message to Atlanta residents.

Councilman Lamar Willis said yesterday Pennington already has one of the highest pay packages in the country.

Several elected officials and community leaders spoke about the proposed hike during a public comment period at the start of the meeting. Many said they think Penning is doing a good job, but questioned the timing of the compensation.

Pennington now makes $189,000 a year.

Eight members voted against the $10,000 increase, with seven voting in favor of the pension boost.

Johnston was shot in her Vine City home, a neighborhood near the Georgia Dome. Family members say she was 92 years old, but the Fulton County medical examiner's office says records show her age to be 88 years old.

The vote against the pension came on the same day that the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP held a Town Hall meeting to discuss the fatal shooting.