Reporting Mireya Villarreal
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 I-TEAM) – She was shot in the line of duty and left paralyzed. Now, that Fort Worth officer claims the city is trying to take away her benefits. But city leaders say says she’s double-dipping, taking more of your tax dollars than she needs to.
A bullet changed Officer Lisa Ramsey’s life in January 2003. She was entering a convenience store looking for drug dealers. The clerk didn’t recognize her as an officer, saw her gun, and shot her as she opened the door. The incident left her paralyzed.
While the fight to get back to work wasn’t easy, it’s what motivated her to get better. Now, Officer Ramsey feels like she’s being attacked again; telling us, the city is threatening to pull some of her benefits.
“It’s as if the city continues to victimize me. You know? Ten years ago I was a victim from the shooting. And just every so often I get picked at again,” Ramsey told us.
Currently, Officer Ramsey is getting about $35,000 from the Texas Department of Insurance for being paralyzed on the job. It’s called lifetime benefits and it’s money she’ll never lose.
But she also has an annual salary of $77,000 paid for by the City of Fort Worth. She works 20 hours a week doing background checks on potential candidates. The rest of the salary, another 20 hours, is paid through the city’s workers compensation plan.
Ramsey says the city now wants to cut those workers comp benefits. And she believes it’s an effort to force her to take medical retirement, which would cost the city less money.
“Once they cut the benefit I will no longer be compensated the 20 hours of workers comp. Which is fine. But why are you trying to blindside me. Why can’t we sit down like big boys and big girls and come up with an alternative,” Officer Ramsey questioned.
The CBS 11 I-Team got a hold of a memo the Fort Worth City Manager’s office sent to council members today. In it, the city claims Ramsey shouldn’t be getting both workers comp. and state lifetime benefits; explaining the “…Texas Legislature did not intend for an employee to simultaneously receive both benefits.”
In a follow-up email to the I-Team, Assistant City Manager Susan Alanis added, “Our prayers have remained with Officers Ramsey and Lambing since the tragedies occurred. We have done, and will continue to do, our best to take care of them and others who are injured in the line of duty. The Council will discuss the issue on July 9, and we will work to ensure that these officers receive the appropriate benefits. In the meantime, we have provided the facts related to their benefits in a memo to the City Council.”
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