Spin Cycle

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A conservative think tank in Albany has given Suffolk Conservative Party chairman Edward M. Walsh the dubious distinction of making a statewide list of top 20 highest-paid county, town and village workers in the 2009-10 fiscal year.

But Walsh said the list is skewed because the pay figures include a lump sum for six years of back raises that finally came through when a long unresolved union contract dispute was settled.

The Empire Center for New York State Policy listed party leader Walsh, a corrections lieutenant investigator, at number 15 for making $240,647. Ahead of Walsh were two other Suffolk correction offcials, Glen Rahner, who was listed at number 4 earning $281,429 and at number 14, warden Charles Ewald, who made $240,754. Two other Suffolk corrections officials — Joseph Mahoney and Joseph Bridgeford, came in at $235,000, at 19th and 20th place.

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Walsh, according to county records, has a base salary of $97,991, but the party leader said his pay also includes about eight hours of overtime weekly plus pay for things like rotating hours and standby pay, totals about $160,000 a year. But he added the retroactive pay hikes and its compounding effect over so many years added between $60,000 to $70,000 to his earnings only for last year.

Top municipal salary statewide went to Peter Noonan, the Clarkstown, Rockland County, police chief who was paid $301,534. Nassau’s top municipal salary was held by Michael E. Woodward of the Freeport Village Police who received $279,153, fifth on the list.