A state panel has given former Nassau top cop Thomas Krumpter the green light to double-dip, allowing him to legally make more than $320,000 annually in combined taxpayer-funded salary and pension benefits, officials said.
Krumpter, 51, who retired from the Nassau County Police Department in July and took a job as the leader of the 11-officer department in the Village of Lloyd Harbor, is drawing $138,030 in annual pension payments, according to the state comptroller’s office, along with $183,000 in annual salary.
Krumpter also received a total of $555,842 in payments from Nassau County following his retirement after 25 years on the force, including unused vacation and sick time, according to the county comptroller’s office, which said it could not immediately provide a breakdown of the unused time.
Krumpter, who is currently ranked a captain and expected to become village police chief by early next year, received approval from the state Civil Service Commission at its October meeting for what is known as the Section 211 waiver, which was requested by the village through a formal application submitted on Aug. 21, commission spokesman Jian Paolucci said.
The waiver allows municipalities to hire employees who are under age 65 and already receiving a state pension for up to two years. Without the waiver, a government can only pay the retiree a maximum of $30,000 annually.
“At the October State Civil Service Commission meeting, the Commission acted upon the 211 waiver request for Mr. Krumpter and determined that the village’s request for approval through January 23, 2018 was warranted, since there is no existing eligible list to fill this position,” Paolucci said in an email. “The Commission, in approving Mr. Krumpter’s waiver, stipulated that, if further approval is sought beyond January 23, 2018, the Suffolk County Department of Civil Service must conduct a competitive examination for the Police Captain position.”
Krumpter declined to comment. But he previously said his status as a retiree would save the village about $80,000 annually because it wouldn’t have to contribute to his pension or fund his health care.
According to a May 2017 report from the nonpartisan, Albany-based think tank Empire Center for Public Policy, Inc., 849 public employees had received the waivers as of July 1, 2016, with 34 approved for local governments in Nassau and 23 in Suffolk.
Severance payments in excess of $500,000 to retiring employees — especially those in law enforcement — have occurred elsewhere on Long Island.
In 2015, Old Westbury Police Chief Daniel E. Duggan received more than $1 million in severance — a mix of hundreds of unused sick, personal and vacation days — when he retired from the force after 40 years.
The previous year, Nassau County paid more than a half-million dollars each in salary and termination pay to seven retiring police officers, led by Chief of Detectives John Capece, who collected $570,823.
In an attempt to reduce the payments as Nassau struggled with budget deficits, the county instituted a severance cap in 2009 that limited police payouts to double an officer’s salary.
In 2010, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano lifted the cap for a year to encourage some of the highest-paid police brass to retire. That year, a police chief and a deputy police commissioner each collected more than $800,000 in salary and severance.
According to the state Retirement and Social Security Law, which was last amended in 2008, in order to receive approval for a section 211 waiver from the state’s three-member Civil Service commission, a jurisdiction must demonstrate “an urgent need for his or her services” because of “an unplanned, unpredictable, unexpected vacancy and sufficient time is not available to recruit a qualified individual.”
And the jurisdiction must demonstrate that it has “undertaken extensive recruitment efforts and has determined that there are no available, qualified non-retirees.”
Krumpter could see his salary grow when he officially becomes police chief, officials said. Former police chief Charles Flynn was paid a total of $304,324 with $190,463 in salary and another $43,113 in overtime in 2015, according to village records.
In order to become chief in Lloyd Harbor, Krumpter is required to pass the chief-level Civil Service exam, which he previously took during his Nassau tenure — a test expected to be administered in the next few months, Lloyd Harbor Mayor Jean Thatcher said.
“He’s excellent; he’s exactly what we had hoped for and we have an excellent relationship and he’s very effective,” Thatcher said in an interview.
“What has he been doing? He’s been running our department ... he oversees all of it. He works on some grant funding for us.”
Asked if Krumpter had managed to secure any grants, she said: “Not yet, but we have several in process.”
Thatcher, who gave Krumpter a $10,000 consulting contract before he joined the force, said the village has already negotiated Krumpter’s chief contract. She declined to provide a copy of the contract, saying “absolutely not, because it’s not in effect yet.” The contract must be approved by the village board in a public vote.
Thatcher also said she couldn’t say what Krumpter’s salary as chief will be because she didn’t have it in front of her and she was too busy with other matters, but said it was not substantially more than his current salary. She promised she would provide it at “some point in the near future.”
The contract for Krumpter’s immediate predecessor, Flynn, who retired in November 2016, created controversy after Newsday reported earlier this year that Flynn had overtime payments written into his contract and was paid a salary of $311,961 in the 2016-17 fiscal year, during which he was the third-highest paid employee in the state.
Newsday also reported that the Suffolk district attorney’s office issued subpoenas seeking Flynn’s time sheets and payroll records.
Unlike his predecessor, Krumpter won’t get overtime.
“He doesn’t get any overtime,” said Thatcher. “It’s a straight-salary contract.”