The Ar. Supreme Curt has ruled that former Mayor Johnny Weaver is not eligible for retirement benefits.
The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a request from a former mayor of the now-defunct city of West Helena for retirement benefits.
Johnny Weaver sued the new city of Helena-West Helena, which merged with the city he once headed, saying he was due retirement benefits under a 2005 West Helena ordinance that the new city had not invalidated.
The high court Thursday reversed a Nov. 8, 2007, ruling by Phillips County Circuit Judge L.T. Simes in Weaver's favor and dismissed Weaver's case.
The Supreme Court agreed with the new city and Mayor James Valley that the city ordinance was invalid because it conflicted with a 2005 state law setting out the years of service required for benefits and a formula for determining the amount. The high court also agreed with Helena-West Helena that Weaver had not reached the retirement age of 60 to qualify for benefits.
Weaver, who did not file arguments in the city's appeal to the Supreme Court, served as mayor for seven years and argued in circuit court that he was entitled to benefits under the 2005 city ordinance and that his 21 years of service as a firefighter should be counted toward the 10 years of service that triggers benefits for a mayor. Weaver said his firefighting service also should entitle him to benefits regardless of his age.
The Supreme Court disagreed, and noted that Weaver conceded in circuit court that he already was receiving benefits for his firefighting service.