Fields: Give Jenne’s Wife Half His Pension

Guest Columnist


It now seems likely that along with prison, disbarment, fines, etc., former Sheriff Ken Jenne will loose his lucrative pension.  Rightly, the law takes away your state pension when you use your office to commit criminal acts–which Jenne did.
But what did his wife Caroline Jenne do?  Nothing. 


For that matter, what did the wife of former Miami Police Chief Donald Warshaw do to justify her loosing everything? 
In the event of a divorce, the law deems that pension rights are a marital asset to be divided by worker and spouse.  In other words, the spouse has a property right in any pension, 401-K, annuity, or for that matter Social Security. 
But under current Florida law, it is legal to punish both for the acts of one.   That does not seem fair.

Overwhelmingly, these are women who stayed home to raise the family.
At the Federal level things appear to be different. 

Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent, was given a life sentence when it was revealed that for twenty years he had been a Soviet spy.  His actions had lead to the KGB executing moles we had inside the Kremlin.

[Chris Cooper played an incredibly creepy Robert Hanssen in the movie Breach.] 

Guess what?  Every month Mrs. Hanssen gets half of his FBI pension. 
Mrs. Warshaw and Mrs. Jenne don’t deserve to be treated any worse.

[As a way of disclosure, I know the Jennes although I have not had more than two contacts with her in the last twenty years. I doubt I would even recognize her.]


17 Responses to “Fields: Give Jenne’s Wife Half His Pension”

  1. don says:


  2. MA says:


    I disagree. What Ken did was wrong and he himself has said that. At no time did his actions compromise BSO nor did BSO suffer or lose anything as a result of his actions. Yes it would be fair to say that BSO went through a tough time in the press and had bad PR, but Ken never misused or misappropriated BSO assets for personal gain. I think the best compromise would be for Ken to lose the portion of his pension that he would have received as Sheriff. I think its unfair that he lose the pension he earned in the Senate. One can look all over Broward County to see all of the revenue and great public works he was able to bring here while he served in the Senate. He earned that money and should be permitted to keep it.

  3. Voter Michael Says says:

    Can you honestly say that Ken was stealing and his wife knew nothing? Maybe she closed her eyes, but she knew he was bringing home rancid bacon.

  4. Victim of Society says:

    Shame on her if she didn’t question what he was doing was wrong. Any reasonable person without hearing a lot of detail could say it was wrong. Maybe BSO wasn’t harmed other than in perception, but his role as a public official should have been independent in fact and appearance. He misused his office, and this is the only thing we know about. His arrogance is being punished and his wife married him for better or worse. A lot of people will not be getting a cozy pension, they just might not get to retire. I am sure she benefited from the money he earned illegally.

  5. Sam Fields says:

    I have never seen a hint, suggestion or a scintella of evidence that she was aware of what was going on. With the U.S. Attorney going over his records with a fine tooth comb I am sure that if there was something it would have turned up. It is not as if he was stealing millions and they were living some otherwise inexplicable lifestyle.

    If you have evidence–and speculation is not evidence–put it up. Otherwise shutup.

  6. Sam Field's Groupie says:

    I must disagree with you on this one, my darling. I seem to remember a line from three or four of those wedding ceremonies in which I have participated that said something in the nature of, “In sickness and in health; for richer and for poorer… .”
    This is the poorer part for Miz Caroline, who surely enjoyed the perks that came from being married to a powerful (albeit short) man.

  7. Democrat says:

    Sam Fields has his nose up the ass of ScottCowan. Remember that he was jailed for stealing. Cowan probably isn’t getting his pension and that is the reason behind this prejudiced article. Jennes wife doesn’t deserve anything any more than Cowan’s wife does. Get it, Sam

  8. I disagree with you all says:

    This take away your pension business is bad law. Somebody goes to jail and we don’t take away their social security right? An auto worker goes to jail, do we take away their union pension? Also no.

    That man paid into a pension. He did a crime and served his sentence. One thing should have nothing to do with the other, and laws that attack someone’s pension, anyone’s pension, should be limited to pension fraud.

    People should have a property right to pensions that they earn. Period.

  9. Great idea says:

    I think his wife should absolutely get half. The point is proven in the fact of – had they divorced she would have gotten it. It is rightfully hers. And, I believe everyone above is incorrect – just because he made a mistake in judgement, doesnt mean that his wife new. I am guessing that she has had to suffer without pay this whole time – she should definitely get what is rightfully hers. Nice call on this one, I dont think I would have thought about this…

  10. Confused Deputy says:

    I think she should get half of his pension, after she serves half his sentence and repays the government for her half of the theft and fraud.

  11. Sam's Groupie says:

    “That man paid into a pension. He did a crime and served his sentence. One thing should have nothing to do with the other, and laws that attack someone’s pension, anyone’s pension, should be limited to pension fraud”

    Not so, I Disagree With You All.
    The Florida Retirement System is non-contributory on the part of the employee. Jenne didn’t put a dime of his own money into it.

  12. Sam's Groupie Confused says:

    The fact is during the time that he served, it was contributory and then changed to non-contributory. Be that as it may, it’s irrelevant. They guy earned a pension which is being taken away from him — that’s a second sentence. Do we do that to social security pensioners? Then why do that to him. This isn’t a question of anything but property rights. Do we take away his house, his car, his anything else? Who will benefit from his pension funds? What kind of stupidity is this. Do we want to sentence him to a lean old age, him and his wife, even after he served his time? Why not take him into the streets and stone him? Why not brand the guy on the forhead with an iron? This is silly, let’s get over it, that’s the American way, he did his time let him live now.

  13. Sam Fields says:

    There is ample precedent for an “innocent spouse” defense. For example an income tax fraud case. Notwithstanding that both spouses sign a joint tax return the law will excuse a spouse who was not involved in preparing the 1040.

    What is this obsession to punish the innocent? Until otherwise proven she is innocent.

  14. Sean says:

    I agree with your take, Sam.

  15. Mr. Courthouse says:

    I too agree with Sam Fields on this. Sam, even a broken clock is right twice a day. This one of those times.

  16. Scott Cowan says:

    Thank you Sam for going to bat for me once again. You were always my bestest friend.
    I need a pension because it was taken away from me for going to jail. I can’t afford those bets at the dog track without it.

    This is obviously not from the former Commissioner Scott Cowan. Also, I am not sure that Cowan lost his pension, since he was convicted of an offense having nothing to do with his work as a commissioner. Cowan was convicted of election law violations….years ago, folks. Get over it.

  17. Karen Warshaw says:

    Warshaw’s Ex says:

    I do not know if Ken Jenne’s wife knew he was bringing home rancid bacon, but Donald Warshaw was using the money from the Do The Right Thing Charity to fund his affair with his current wife, Lillian. How about THAT for unfair to punish the innocent spouse?