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Justin Meyers’ title bump prompts concern by Suffolk GOP lawmakers

Suffolk Police Assistant Deputy Commissioner Justin Meyers.

Suffolk Police Assistant Deputy Commissioner Justin Meyers. Credit: Justin Meyers

The Suffolk County Legislature will consider a bill Tuesday that bumps up the title of top police spokesman Justin Meyers amid Republican concerns about his pay.

Meyers, an assistant deputy police commissioner, would become assistant commissioner for strategic communications. The new position is exempt from Civil Service requirements, while the old one is competitive.

Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider said there’s no pay increase with the new position. Meyers would continue to make $144,594 under the new title and receive a raise to $151,119 on July 1 — the same increase he would get under his current title.

Although the new position has a higher maximum pay of $157,722 compared with the existing position, which tops out at $151,119, Schneider said Meyers’ salary will be frozen at that lower level. “He will receive no future step increases,” Schneider said in a statement.

Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), who abstained from a vote on the issue during the Government Affairs Committee meeting last Wednesday, questioned Meyers’ pay and expressed concern that County Executive Steve Bellone’s administration was creating another exempt patronage position.

“We’re bypassing a Civil Service position for an exempt position and paying him more money than we ought to,” McCaffrey said.

Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said Meyers, who supervises seven civilians, has improved communication with the public and the news media. Sini also noted the former head of communications, Deputy Chief Kevin Fallon, had made $208,000 annually.

Sini called Meyers “someone I trust with enormous responsibility,” and said it was important that he be an exempt employee serving at the pleasure of the commissioner.

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