Justice and fairness is all one can ask for when dealing with a government agency.
And Joseph Tully Jr., Dracut Housing Authority’s former executive director, certainly deserves a thorough — and hopefully positive — review in his disability pension application now before the Public Employees Retirement Administration Commission.
Tully’s case is a special one. Unlike former high-salaried lawmakers and judges who go to court to increase their already exorbitant retirement pensions, Tully is petitioning the commission from a wheelchair after giving 21 years of dedicated service.
He’s not trying to break the bank.
Recently, three highly trained physicians reviewed the details of Tully’s medical case. Soon they will decide if Tully’s debilitating stroke, which occurred in July 2006, was due to job-related stress. If so, Tully may be able to receive a partial or full disability pension, up to his final salary of $63,000.
Tully was 49 when he suffered a massive stroke. It left him unable to read and write. He can’t work any longer.
For more than two decades, Tully was a one-man executive team at the Housing Authority. While he kept himself fit, running several miles daily, Tully developed high blood pressure on the job. He was being treated for the condition when the stroke occurred.
Tully is now 53. Because he never made a huge salary, he is eligible for a $19,000-a-year pension, minus taxes. He has no other income. His present medication costs $200 a month. The cost does not include his four days a week of therapy.
In Tully’s case, we hope the medical board comes to the best possible conclusion for a public employee who gave most of his working life to the Dracut Housing Authority.