Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pension Abuse 2

The Times Union in May published a list of top NYS Pensioners -- all being paid more than $100K/year. Perusing the list, at number 240, collecting $119,874.00/year was one from the City of Utica, James W. Roemer, Jr. ... In fact, the only one listed as collecting a $100K+ pension from the City of Utica.

Did anyone ever hear of this guy? Is he a former Chief of Police? Nope . . .Fire Chief? Nope . . . Mayor? Nope . . .

He doesn't even live in Utica!

Who is he? He's a Labor Relations Counsel out of the Albany area . . . . and believes he is entitled to his "employee" pension. (One wonders how he got around the "Live in Utica" requirement, but lots of people got around that.) It will be interesting to see what becomes of the litigation over this, since the State Comptroller and Atty. General are going after some of these so-called "employees" who are probably "independent contractors."

But just think of how many Utica pensions $119K+/year could fund.


Anonymous said...

Great catch!

Anonymous said...

How about looking at all of the former County Legislators that end up with high paying County jebs after "retiring" from 20+ years on the Board. They get the final "high paying" job in order to collect a big pension. They count their 20+ years of "part-time" service as Legislators and pay their pension based on their last 3-4 years of the "high paying salary". Just think about DPW Commissioner Jack Williams (Former Chairman of the Board, James Kiernan (Former Minority Leader), Steve Giglotti, and the list goes on.

It seems that the major requirment to getting a job as a County Department Head is to be a longtime rubberstamp of the powers that be.


Greens and Beans said...

Holy Cow! Mr. Roemer must be a magnificent multitasking expert! Continuously working for law firms after graduating from Albany Law School in 1969, plus serving full time as a public servant working for the City of Utica has entitled him to collect an $119,874.00 public servant pension is truly astonishing. Some may even say incredible. Perhaps he should write a book for those of us who need to benefit from his perfection at the craft of multitasking.

Anonymous said...

How about Bob Julian? Full-time personal injury lawyer making millions and Chairman of the Legislature. Then, Supreme Court Justice for 7 years and now retires at the higher pay. Back to personal injury to make millions. We pay his retirement and medical for the rest of his life at the rate of a Supreme Court Judge not a County Legislator. It's all legal, but is that what our system was meant to do? Who invented the retirement concept of "high threes?" It should be eliminated and retirement should be based earnings based on the entire state service.

Strikeslip said...

I have to agree with you, Anonymous. I could never understand the rationale behind the "high three" concept.

Pensions should be based upon what was put into the retirement system on the employee's behalf, like social security.

The "high 3" system really is unfair to both taxpayers and the regular civil servants who do not manipulate "overtime" to inflate their "high 3." Others come in and, essentially, take the share that could go to others or go back to the taxpayers.