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Retirement on hold for two years

Mower County Sheriff's Deputy Barry Reburn learned about a misunderstanding about his retirement benefits on Tuesday, what was supposed to be his last day on the job.

When Barry Reburn talked about retiring earlier this week after 28 years as a deputy with the Mower County Sheriff's Office, he spoke of the importance of a good sense of humor.

He's needed it.

Turns out, Reburn didn't have enough time on the job to retire with full benefits, so he has to "unretire."

"I wouldn't have gotten the retirement package I was anticipating," he said Friday. "It'd be foolish to try to go down that road; it's better to have a little stability in your life."

So after a farewell potluck, recognition from the Mower County Board of Commissioners and best wishes from his bosses and coworkers, Reburn is back.


He learned of the mistake on Tuesday, his scheduled last day.

His reaction?

"Well, I was a little surprised," he said in perhaps the understatement of the century. "It's been about the weirdest week I've ever experienced. I guess you have to take a step back and see, well, what's the best decision now?"

The only logical one was to return to work. Though Sheriff Terese Amazi had hired a new deputy to fill Reburn's empty position, the new employee had already turned in his resignation, citing personal reasons.

"There was still a slot available," Reburn said, "which was good. I don't think they could train me; I'm too old and confused."

The request to rescind his retirement will come before the County Board on Tuesday.

His coworkers have been good about the mix-up, though Reburn admitted he'd probably never live it down. He isn't sure if they'll believe him when he really does retire, "a couple years down the road."

That going-away potluck will now be thought of as "a way to celebrate the end of January," he said.


Reburn hadn't made any hard and fast changes, "other than I'd gone and flapped my jaws off to a reporter. That was about the extent of it," he said. "I was just planning on sleeping late that next day."

It is, he agreed, an unusual situation.

"And you can spell that with a capital U," he said.


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