North Hempstead Town has paid nearly $33,000 to three former top administrative staffers, including the former senior policy adviser, for time they accrued but did not use before leaving to take positions with other towns.
Town officials said employees are allowed to accrue up to 80 days, or 540 hours, over the course of their tenure. Those who leave and have accumulated more than 80 days during the year they resign are entitled to additional time, said town spokeswoman Carole Trottere.
Among the three is former senior policy adviser Robert Troiano, who accrued about 20 days, or 139 hours, during a tenure that lasted about seven years and included time as a council member. The accrual is equivalent to $10,877 in unused vacation time, and after deductions Troiano was paid $7,471.25 by the town. Troiano resigned in December after being appointed Nassau County’s acting commissioner for traffic and parking violations. He was on the job for less than a month before resigning amid questions about personal tax liens and other debts.
Last year, he was paid $141,723, according to town payroll records.
Two other key town employees departed in January to work for the neighboring Town of Hempstead. Mitch Pitnick, previously North Hempstead’s chief deputy town attorney, had worked for the town since 2007 and last year was paid $118,644. He accumulated a few hours over 80 days, or 543 unused hours, which amounted to $35,030. After deductions, he netted $21,815. Pitnick is now counsel to Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, and his annual salary is $145,000.
Averil Smith, who had been the town’s comptroller since 2015 and was paid $143,351 last year, is now Hempstead’s director of finance, at a salary of $130,000. After deductions, Smith was paid $3,392 out of a pretax total of $5,557 for 71 unused hours, or 10 days.
Trottere said that employees could not keep more than 80 days past January 1st of each year but did not know if there was a limit capping extra days.