FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
One-Day 'Retirements?' There Ought to Be a Law!
NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL'S 23 DOUBLE-DIPPERS POCKET MILLIONS; MOST RETIRE FOR ONE DAY, THEN COLLECT PENSIONS FOR LIFE
Edgar J. Hess “retired” from the New Jersey State Police at age 50, but he never left the Attorney General’s payroll. The next day, he began work at a state unit that investigates corruption.
Without really retiring, Hess has collected $712,000 in state pension checks since 2002. He currently gets $196,000 a year – an $80,000 pension plus a $116,000 salary as a lieutenant state investigator.
Hess is one of 23 double-dipping investigators and supervisors who work for Attorney General Paula T. Dow and her Division of Criminal Justice, a New Jersey Watchdog investigation revealed. In addition to their salaries, they draw pensions as retired employees of the Attorney General. Most retired for only one day.
Collectively, the 23 “retirees” receive $3.77 million a year – $1.56 million a year in pension pay plus $2.21 million in state salaries. On average, they each pocket $164,000 a year – $96,000 in salary and nearly $68,000 from pension.
The retirement schemes are typically inside jobs – deals that quietly slip through loopholes in pension law. Like Hess, many retirees are rehired so quickly they never miss a payday from the Attorney General, who is in charge of both DCJ and State Police. In the 23 double-dipping cases examined by New Jersey Watchdog:
- 14 officers were rehired the day after they retired.
- Two others were rehired within a week of retirement.
- Only seven officers left the payroll for at least 30 days, as required by state pension rules.