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80 New Jersey State Police retirees return to payroll to double-dip

By   /   April 1, 2013  /   No Comments

By Mark Lagerkvist | New Jersey Watchdog New Jersey State Lottery Deputy Director Duane Daniels hit a jackpot when he retired as a State Police captain at age 50.

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BIG WINNER: Duane Daniels collects $178,296 annually from the state of New Jersey, $88,296 from his state retirement and $90,000 head of security for the state lottery.

Daniels started collecting an $88,296 annual state pension in October 2009. That same month, he was hired as the lottery’s head of security at a $90,000 salary. For Daniels, who did not respond to requests for comment, his annual payout increased to $178,296. In this game, taxpayers don’t stand a chance. The rules are rigged in favor of Daniels and scores of other retirees. While mid-career retirements drain millions from state pension funds that face a $41.7 billion shortfall, double-dipping adds insult to voters who were promised reform. A New Jersey Watchdog investigation found 80 State Police retirees are back on the state payroll as full-time employees. Collectively, they receive $12.8 million a year – nearly $7 million in salaries plus $5.8 million from pensions.  Of the 80 “retired” troopers:

  • Twenty-two are re-employed by the State Police; 19 as investigators. They draw both State Police pensions and paychecks.
  • Twenty-seven work as investigators elsewhere within the Department of Law & Public Safety, the agency in charge of the State Police. Twenty are assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice, five are under the Division of Law, and the Division of Consumer Affairs and Office of Attorney General each employ one.
  • Thirty-one State Police retirees work at other state agencies, including the State Comptroller, Treasury, Education, Insurance & Banking, Secretary of State, Motor Vehicle Commission, State Parole Board, Human Services, Health and Senior Services, Information Technology and Office of Homeland Security.

Topping the list are five double-dipping State Police retirees who each rake in more than $200,000 annually:

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HE PROMISED REFORM: Fifteen of the 80 double-dippers retired and were rehired by the state during Gov. Chris Christie’s first three years in office.

Fifteen of the 80 double-dippers retired and were rehired by the state during Gov. Chris Christie’s first three years in office. On average, the re-employed State Police retirees get $160,217 a year – $87,039 in salary plus $73,178 from pension. They take advantage of rules that encourage personnel to retire at relatively young ages – starting in their mid-40s – then collect benefits for the rest of their lives. Regardless of age, they can take “service retirement” after 20 years of service to collect half of their salary – or “special retirement” after 25 years to collect 65 percent of their highest pay. For those who don’t get the hint, the State Police has a mandatory retirement age of 55. “It’s basically a young person’s job,” Sen. Frederick Madden, former State Police deputy director, told New Jersey Watchdog last year. “The system is set up for them to retire early to keep the forces young.”

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HE GETS IT TOO: Madden gets his state retirement pension as well as a salary for serving in the Legislature and as a dean at Gloucester County College.

Yet Madden, D-Gloucester, favors rehiring those retirees because of the experience that comes with age. “There’s a lot of positives to taking retirees that have strong resumes and a productive work experience and placing them in other public jobs,” he said. Madden is a “triple-dipper” who receives nearly a quarter-million dollars each year from public coffers, as reported by New Jersey Watchdog. In addition to his $85,272 State Police pension, Madden gets $49,000 as a state legislator and $109,390 as a dean in charge of the Police Academy at Gloucester County College. “Obviously, I don’t have a problem with people doing it,” said Madden. “I’ve accepted that in my own personal life.” The problem is the impact on the State Police Retirement System. SPRS is underfunded by $579 million – a shortfall that has increased 66 percent since 2006, according to the most recent fiscal data released by the state. Even worse, the number of State Police retirees drawing pensions now exceeds the number of employees who contribute to the pension. In 2012, for the first time, there were more SPRS retirees (3,019) than active members (2,776). In other words, there are more retirees drawing 50 percent to 70 percent of their highest salaries in pensions from SPRS than workers contributing 9 percent of their pay to the fund. SPRS is relatively small, representing one-half of 1 percent of New Jersey’s public pension system membership. But its woes may foreshadow a fate that larger state pension funds seem likely to face. The Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, the only other state pension to offer special retirement, is headed in the same direction. PFRS has nearly as many retirees receiving pensions (39,413) as members contributing to the fund (41,518).  PFRS faces a shortfall of $7.7 billion. It has 18 percent of the pension system’s projected $41.7 billion deficit, though only 8 percent of the system’s members. Despite the state’s own numbers, Christie contends the pension crisis has been solved under his leadership as governor. “Just three years ago, our pension system was in ruins…” said Christie in his budget address on Feb. 26. “Today, our pension system is on a path to restored health.” Following several years in which state government failed to meet its required financial obligations to the pension funds, Christie promised his 2014 budget will include a $1.6-billion annual contribution. The question is whether it’s too little and too late. The list of 80 State Police re-employed retirees originated with tips from New Jersey Watchdog readers. The information was verified through the most recent available state pension and payroll databases, updated on Dec. 31, 2012. The list does not include State Police retirees who work for New Jersey’s 21 county or 565 municipal governments. A New Jersey Watchdog investigation last year counted 37 State Police retirees on the payrolls of county prosecutors. They collected a total of $6.1 million a year – $3.4 million in salaries plus $2.7 million from state pensions. Another New Jersey Watchdog report found that Warren County Sheriff David Gallant gets $206,464 a year – $124,084 in salary plus $82,380 from his SPRS pension. Three county undersheriffs, two in Warren County and one in Salem County, also are State Police retiree. They receive a total of $503,685 a year – $246,417 in salaries and $257,268 from pensions. NEW JERSEY WATCHDOG’S LIST OF 80 STATE POLICE RETIREES WHO COLLECT SALARY & PENSION

LAST FIRST TOTAL/YR SALARY PENSION CURRENT EMPLOYER
Lieb Drew $226,144 $130,000 $96,144 Homeland Security
Quinn Dennis $210,808 $130,000 $80,808 Homeland Security
Cicchino Robert $210,226 $118,450 $91,776 Education
DelVento Allen $206,149 $116,305 $89,844 State Parole Board
Brennan Joseph $204,960 $123,000 $81,960 Banking/Insurance
Hess Edgar $196,288 $116,128 $80,160 Criminal Justice
Morris Paul $195,779 $114,647 $81,132 Criminal Justice
Zichello Nicholas $189,991 $103,039 $86,952 Attorney General
Flarity Thomas $188,544 $105,000 $83,544 Motor Vehicle Comm
Richardson Randall $182,341 $98,725 $83,616 Homeland Security
Celli Joseph $182,180 $92,000 $90,180 Comptroller
Quirk Edward $181,573 $112,249 $69,324 Criminal Justice
Silver John $180,968 $92,000 $88,968 Comptroller
Leonardis David $180,534 $97,794 $82,740 Homeland Security
Cartagena Miguel $178,512 $90,000 $88,512 Human Services
Daniels Duane $178,296 $90,000 $88,296 Treasury
Wettengel Mark $177,170 $94,106 $83,064 State Police
Galloway Wendy $176,748 $90,000 $86,748 Secy of State
Kilmurray Robert $175,300 $89,356 $85,944 Homeland Security
Nuel Richard $175,244 $92,000 $83,244 Comptroller
Gilbert Thomas $174,069 $80,697 $93,372 Criminal Justice
Salzmann David $173,650 $100,810 $72,840 Criminal Justice
O’Brien John $173,556 $84,000 $89,556 Health & Senior Svcs
Temple Martin $173,352 $90,000 $83,352 Human Services
Smith John $172,149 $95,037 $77,112 Criminal Justice
Weidman Frederick $171,886 $101,446 $70,440 Criminal Justice
Tavener Frederick $170,498 $94,106 $76,392 State Police
Lane Richard $170,052 $84,684 $85,368 Criminal Justice
Mai Mark $168,666 $97,458 $71,208 Criminal Justice
Olenick Nicholas $168,221 $87,581 $80,640 Criminal Justice
Saiia Joseph $166,956 $90,000 $76,956 Information Technology
Farhat Mansour $166,834 $86,578 $80,256 State Police
Saiia Joseph III $166,831 $81,787 $85,044 Criminal Justice
Loufik Richard $165,257 $87,581 $77,676 Criminal Justice
Kendig Patrick $165,130 $100,810 $64,320 Criminal Justice
Toth Randolph $165,046 $86,578 $78,468 State Police
Drummond Alan $164,722 $100,810 $63,912 Criminal Justice
Salvadore Peter $161,772 $75,000 $86,772 State Parole Board
Quinoa Manuel $161,552 $93,680 $67,872 State Police
Macciocca Donald $161,489 $87,581 $73,908 Criminal Justice
Rozwadowski Ronald $161,170 $100,810 $60,360 Criminal Justice
England Patricia $159,401 $88,169 $71,232 State Police
Chatenka William $159,361 $89,533 $69,828 Motor Vehicle Comm
Davis William $159,161 $87,581 $71,580 Criminal Justice
Procaccino Richard $158,784 $83,580 $75,204 Law
Trogani Joseph $158,623 $77,863 $80,760 Consumer Affairs
Carlin Richard $157,990 $100,810 $57,180 Criminal Justice
Runion Robert $156,503 $75,311 $81,192 State Police
Rainier Dean $156,403 $77,863 $78,540 State Police
Cipolla Robert $156,299 $75,311 $80,988 State Police
Lamb John $156,091 $77,863 $78,228 State Police
Trupkiewicz Michael $155,586 $96,198 $59,388 Banking/Insurance
Shurts William $153,703 $61,855 $91,848 Motor Vehicle Comm
Makuka Stephen $153,283 $77,863 $75,420 State Police
Lilley Brian $153,056 $74,924 $78,132 State Police
Armitage Debra $151,972 $74,476 $77,496 Motor Vehicle Comm
Villone Dennis $151,466 $95,990 $55,476 Law
Huggins Don $151,115 $75,311 $75,804 State Police
Spivey Thomas $150,596 $83,408 $67,188 Law
Fish James $150,174 $61,494 $88,680 Banking/Insurance
Howell Gary $149,731 $77,863 $71,868 State Police
Taggart Alexander $148,082 $95,990 $52,092 Law
Wallack Gregory $146,347 $103,039 $43,308 Banking/Insurance
Sheeran John $145,337 $87,581 $57,756 Criminal Justice
Elgrim Jeffrey $145,156 $64,000 $81,156 Homeland Security
Whittaker James $142,942 $86,578 $56,364 Motor Vehicle Comm
Healey Kevin $142,452 $63,000 $79,452 Health & Senior Svcs
Reynolds Glenn $133,104 $83,580 $49,524 Law
Briggs Wayne $129,579 $85,455 $44,124 Banking/Insurance
Casale Vincent $125,396 $59,828 $65,568 State Police
Fantini Michael $125,366 $72,686 $52,680 State Police
Ames William $123,812 $47,936 $75,876 Banking/Insurance
Crescenz Charles $122,785 $89,533 $33,252 Criminal Justice
Bietka Edward $116,758 $45,838 $70,920 Public Defender
Mazziotta Francis $114,458 $72,686 $41,772 State Police
McCurdy Harry $113,255 $75,311 $37,944 State Police
Caruso Joesph $112,451 $45,059 $67,392 State Police
Crowe Robert $106,916 $72,536 $34,380 State Police
Dunich Julio $103,463 $38,963 $64,500 State Police
Hoffman Delbert $99,832 $58,420 $41,412 State Police
TOTAL $12,817,402 $6,963,118 $5,854,284
AVERAGE $160,130 $87,039 $73,178

 

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