ROTTERDAM — The town's former police chief, who retired in August, was also the town's top income earner in 2017, after he received a buyout of accrued vacation and sick time that was larger than his salary.
Former chief James Hamilton received total compensation last year of $217,695 and was one of 19 town employees — all police officers — whose compensation topped $100,000, according to town records provided through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Hamilton received an accrual buyout of $117,285, plus $86,095 in regular salary, $5,928 in retroactive earnings due after a police union contract settlement, $7,486 in a compensation cash-in and a $900 annual clothing allowance. He had worked for the department since 1989 and had been chief since 2001.
"He was with the department for 28 years, so he has accumulated sick time, personal time, vacation time," Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone said. The right to accumulate benefits is set by contract, he said.
The second-highest earner was new Police Chief George Manikas, who became chief after Hamilton's retirement. He received regular earnings of $135,577 and total compensation of $143,393, after a compensation cash-in, retroactive earnings, a vacation buyout and a clothing allowance were included.
Officer Anthony Williams earned $137,811, including $46,984 in overtime. That made him the only officer to earn more than 50 percent above his regular salary by working overtime, though many others also earned overtime.
Tommasone said the town spent about $234,000 last year on police overtime, a reduction from more than $300,000 in some recent years. That's in part because the town filled some retirement vacancies, with four new officers hired in 2016 and three more earlier this year. Overall, the police department has 41 officers and four civilian employees.
"The command staff here, the chief and deputy chief and (two) lieutenants, do a phenomental job in making sure we are properly staffed," Tommasone said. "The overtime isn't just there for the taking, but it's there when needed."
The highest-paid town employee who wasn't a police officer was Town Attorney Katherine McGuirl, whose total compensation was $97,487.
Rotterdam's top-10 list
- 1. James Hamilton, retired chief, $217,695
- 2. George Manikas, chief, $143,393
- 3. Anthony Williams, police officer, $137,811
- 4. Michael Brown, lieutenant, $130,562
- 5. Jeffrey Collins, lieutenant, $128,076
- 6. Derek Reilly, sergeant, $121,425
- 7. Keith Collins, sergeant, $117,877
- 8. Daniel Ryan, sergeant, $116,717
- 9. Michael Caffarella, retired officer, $116, 208
- 10. Jeffrey Amoroso, sergeant, $116,035