Montgomery County man's retirement left in limbo due to government shutdown

- As the government shutdown enters its twelfth day, one Montgomery County man's retirement is left in limbo.

David Fitzpatrick, who works at Independence National Historical Park, says his last day should have been on Dec. 30, but his retirement is now on hold.

It's hard to retire if there isn't someone from human resources to set you free.

“If I was 100 percent retired I probably would have went to Ireland," Fitzpatrick tells FOX 29. "My daughter lives in Ireland so I was probably going to spend some time over there.”

Instead, Fitzpatrick hangs out inside his home, with one foot still in the door of the National Park Service.

“I think my first pension check was due in February and it’s probably not going to happen now," Fitzpatrick explains. "Plus, when you end your career with the government they pay you your final pay which is your annual leave. Obviously, that check's probably gonna delayed. It gives you uncertainty for sure."

With 29 years under his belt, Fitzpatrick hopes to leave his post as a chiller plant operator stationed around the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. 

“We send the chilled water to all the historic buildings down at Independence National Historical Park to maintain the proper humidity and temperature to maintain the buildings," he explains.

But Fitzpatrick says he got furloughed late last month on his birthday of all days.

“Literally within five minutes I was handed my paperwork, told to sign it and to leave. It’s that cold. It’s that fast," he says.

He sent an email to a HR specialist asking about retiring. He got a shocking reply that said nothing could be done because HR had been furloughed, too

“I kind of chuckled because it’s not really what I thought the letter, the email response would say," Fitzpatrick said.

He blames it all on the dysfunction in Washington.

“It’s unfortunate that the politicians use federal employees as a pawn. They literally use us as a pawn back and forth, back and forth." he says.

And after not one but two retirement parties, he’s ready to finally move on.

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