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Re: Hudson County Sheriff's employees earning both paychecks and pensions may be target of investigation
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These corrupt thieves are worse for society than the crackheads mugging people by the light rail. Arrest them and throw them in jail!

Posted on: 2011/8/8 13:09
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Hudson County Sheriff's employees earning both paychecks and pensions may be target of investigation
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Hudson County Sheriff's employees earning both paychecks and pensions may be target of investigation

Published: Sunday, August 07, 2011, 3:03 AM Updated: Monday, August 08, 2011, 5:59 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

The board that oversees the state?s police and fire retirement system voted unanimously last month to ask the Treasury Department to investigate two former Hudson County Sheriff?s chiefs for allegedly collecting pensions from the pension fund while at the same time working jobs covered by the fund.

But those chiefs Andrew Conti and predecessor John Bartucci are hardly by themselves when it comes to law enforcement pensioners collecting a monthly pension from the police and fire pension fund while working for the Hudson County Sheriff?s Office.

At least six current Hudson County Sheriff?s Office employees are collecting monthly pensions ranging from $4,518 to $8,283, mostly from former law-enforcement jobs, while also being paid salaries ranging from $37,492 as a seasonal assistant to $102,023 as an undersheriff, according to state and county records.

The practice has long been decried by government reformers as an example of waste and cronyism. And in the case of law-enforcement officers performing the same duties as the jobs they?re collecting pensions for, it?s an official no-no.

Michael Makarski, spokesman for Sheriff Frank X. Schillari, said that it?s common to find retired individuals re-entering the workforce.

?All these Sheriff?s Office employees are very well-qualified and have substantial law-enforcement experience,? Makarski said. ?Employing them actually saves taxpayers money because there are no additional health or pension benefit costs.?

Most of the six perform civilian duties and do not act as law-enforcement officers, which keeps them from violating state pension guidelines, said Makarski, adding they represent a small fraction of the department?s 356 employees.

Robert Taino, secretary to the sheriff, earns $75,000 for that position, while raking in an $8,282 monthly pension as a retired Jersey City police captain.

Undersheriff Bruce Lamparello earns $102,023 annually and also collects a $5,129 monthly pension as a retired Hudson County sergeant.

Michael Razzoli, a seasonal assistant, earns a $37,492 salary while pulling in a monthly pension of $5,279 as a retired Jersey City firefighter. Razzoli also earns $87,430 annually as a city fire subcode official.

Christian Araujo makes $80,000 annually as secretary to a department head, while netting an additional $4,657 monthly pension as a retired Hudson County Sheriff?s lieutenant.

Meanwhile, Oliver King, a chief warrant officer, takes in $75,000 annually for his county job while making $4,518 monthly as a retired county police officer.

Andrew Conti is paid $80,000 a year while also collecting $4,811 monthly as a retired sheriff?s office captain.

Former Chief John Bartucci collected $174,909.94 in pension monies while working in the Sheriff?s Office from January, 2008 to December, 2010, according to pension records.

If investigators rule Conti and Bartucci were double-dipping they could be forced to pay back the money they drew from the pension fund.

Araujo, a former lieutenant, was shot twice in the line of duty, and his $4,600 monthly disability payment isn?t enough to support his family, he said.

?I have a son and a daughter ... $4,600 is not going to cut it,? he said.


The Star-Ledger contributed to this story.

Posted on: 2011/8/8 12:22
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