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John Barry has competition for Suffolk police brass job

First Deputy Commissioner John Barry is seen at

First Deputy Commissioner John Barry is seen at the Suffolk County police academy in Brentwood on Thursday, March, 3, 2016, shortly before being sworn in by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. Photo Credit: James Carbone

John Barry, Suffolk’s deputy police commissioner-in-waiting, has competition from four applicants seeking the $150,000-a-year post.

But a spokesman for the administration of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said none of those applicants will be interviewed. The county also will proceed with a request for a state waiver so that Barry can legally collect $236,000 annually in county salary and a New York city police pension, the spokesman said.

The new applicants surfaced after the administration last month advertised the deputy commissioner’s job in two weekly newspapers in Smithtown. New York State requires employers seeking waivers to do “extensive recruitment efforts” and to have determined there are “no available qualified non-retirees.”

Alan Schneider, county personnel director, declined to identify Barry’s four competitors, citing their confidentiality.

Schneider said he had turned the names over to Bellone’s office, and noted that two of the four candidates likely would need waivers.

Under state law, any former state or local government worker under age 65 who receives a state pension must obtain a “211 waiver” from the state Civil Service Department to return to public payroll unless they earn less than $30,000 a year.

Bellone spokesman Justin Meyers said the names were submitted to county police Commissioner Timothy Sini. Meyers said none will be interviewed because “none of the resumes had the combined federal and local law enforcement experience we were looking for.”

Meyers said that by placing the newspaper ads, the state “process was validated,” allowing the county to move forward with Barry’s waiver application.

“His qualifications are impeccable, his resume is outstanding and his experience would be nearly impossible to match,” Meyers said of Barry.

Barry, 46, currently a $144,000-a-year investigator for the U.S. Justice Department, needs a waiver because he already collects an $86,000 annual pension as a retired as a New York City Police detective. Barry is on leave from his federal job and is serving the county police department on a volunteer basis.

Schneider said Sini is not required to interview other applicants.

“The commissioner has a right to select who he wishes to put in the position,” Meyers said.

Suffolk County Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) said, “Taking nothing away from John Barry, he was the only candidate and was given the job long before the ‘search effort’ was ever conducted.”

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