Former Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Dale, who was forced to resign in December after a district attorney investigation into "politically motivated policing," will receive about $58,000 in termination pay, according to the county comptroller's office.
The former commissioner will be paid for 61 vacation days and 25 sick days unused during his less than two years on the job, with the first of three payments of $19,336.90 issued in January, according to records.
Dale, 64, who was hired in January 2012, was able to earn more days than new employees because he was credited with 40 years on the New York City police force, a comptroller's spokesman said.
Deputy County Executive Edward Ward said Nassau followed proper procedures. "Dale resigned with a letter from the district attorney saying there was no criminal activity and he was paid pursuant to law. He was entitled to accrued leave he earned as an employee of the county," Ward said.
A police union leader and a Democratic legislator Thursday criticized the payout.
Police Benevolent Association president James Carver said, "Under the conditions that he left, where he disgraced the department, it's unbelievable that he was able to collect that money and was not fined one single day. It goes to show there are two separate rules for bosses and police officers, which is why we support binding arbitration for police officers."
Carver noted that Dale refused to pay $250,000 in termination pay for Officer Michael Tedesco, who retired in 2012 after allegedly having an affair while on duty.
Legis. Carrié Solages (D-Elmont), who was critical of Dale's decision to merge the busy Fifth Precinct in Elmont with the Fourth Precinct in Hewlett, said, "This is very unfair to the everyday police officers in Nassau County who are stuck on a low pay scale because of the wage freeze to have this individual leave with such high termination pay."
Solages was referring to a three-year wage freeze imposed by the county's financial control board in 2011 that has kept some new officers on $34,000 a year and others on less than $80,000.
"We don't know if there is an ongoing investigation," Solages added. "There are alot of unanswered questions. To give this person termination pay without there being a final determination pushes aside our obligation to find out the truth."
Dale declined to comment.
County Executive Edward Mangano asked Dale and another high-ranking police chief to resign in December after District Attorney Kathleen Rice said they improperly intervened in an election case. In a probe into "politically motivated policing," Rice reported Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius, who was financing third-party county executive candidate Andrew Hardwick, called Dale in October to say he wanted to file perjury charges against campaign worker Randy White, who had testified that Hardwick paid him illegally -- which Hardwick denied.
Rice said Dale was involved in the decisions that led police to pull White off a public bus and arrest him for an unpaid $250 court fine. While in custody, an off-duty police officer served White with a subpoena from the Hardwick campaign.
Rice said she found no criminal wrongdoing though she still is investigating the serving of the subpoena, which she called "deeply troubling. "Nassau Democratic legislators have asked the U.S. Attorney to investigate the incident for alleged abuse of power and witness intimidation.