Nassau Police Benevolent Association President James Carver will retire in February after serving as leader of the county’s largest police union for the past eight years.
Carver, 54, who started as a New York City Transit cop in January 1982 and joined Nassau’s force in 1986, announced his retirement plans Thursday to his union board of officers. The PBA has 1,700 active members.
“I’ve had a long career,” he said in an interview Friday. “My plan to retire at 35 years has been in effect for well over a year . . . I’ve been told my whole career you’ll know when it’s time to retire. It’s time to move on.”
Carver said his announcement wasn’t connected to the indictments Thursday of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Mangano’s wife, Linda, and Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto on federal corruption charges.
Carver said he originally had expected to announce his retirement in September but was delayed by the release of a state appellate court decision rejecting the union’s challenge to a three-year wage freeze that was lifted in 2014.
“For years, the job that I love dictated my life and the decisions I had to make,” Carver said. “I wasn’t going to allow the Mangano indictment dictate my retirement decision. I was going, no matter what.”
Carver comes from a police family: His late father was a lieutenant on the Nassau force and his son is an officer in the First Precinct.
He said his proudest moments came while representing his members in difficult times — the wage freeze and the recent rash of police officers killed on the job.
“These line-of-duty deaths, it took a personal toll on me,” he said.
The PBA under Carver has endorsed and contributed to Democrats and Republicans. For example, the PBA endorsed Republican Chris McGrath in a special election for the State Senate early this year but is endorsing the election’s winner, Democrat Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach, in next month’s State Senate rematch.
The county comptroller’s office reports that Nassau paid Carver $219,000 last year, which included $41,500 in pay for being the PBA president.