ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A judge has ordered St. Louis County to pay Councilman Tim Fitch more than $245,000 in retirement benefits that he earned as a police officer and police chief, the Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.

Fitch became a council member representing the 3rd District in January 2019, at which point the county stopped paying his police pension. The county’s retirement ordinance states that these benefits are suspended if an individual returns to a salaried county position.

Earlier this year, Fitch sued the county and argued that the ordinance only applies to full-time, merit positions — not council seats, which are elected and part-time offices.

The judge sided with Fitch, who tweeted the following statement after the ruling: “I’m pleased that the Court determined I should receive the pension I earned for over 31 years as a St. Louis County police officer & that future county council members will not lose their rightfully earned pension benefits because they choose to continue to serve their community.”

Fitch will be able to draw his police pension for the remainder of his term. He announced in March that he will not seek a second term on the council.

Information from the Post-Dispatch contributed to this story.