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Outdated West Deptford law allows officials to sign up for health-care plans -

By Gina Bittner

WEST DEPTFORD TWP. Ð Nearly a decade after his final term on the township Outraged committee, former part-time mayor David Shields is still receiving health benefits at municipal taxpayers' expense.

Meanwhile, in exchange for a $3,600 annual cash payment, he waives the health coverage offered in the compensation package for his full-time public job.

Shields, a Democrat who served 24 years on the township committee, is entitled to benefits for life under a little-known ordinance that dates back to the 1970s and was last amended in 2002.

That township benefits package is currently valued at $26,560, according to a memo prepared by Lee Ann DeHart, deputy township clerk, in response to an open public records request filed by the Times.

When David Shields retires at the end of the year from his current $185,000 position as executive director of the Gloucester County Improvement Authority (GCIA), he's slated to get more than just lifetime health benefits.

He will have an annual pension for life estimated at $90,511.

According to the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, Shields'


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