The Rape of the Taxpayer
Police are supposed to stop rape. Instead police around California eagerly join in a rape of the taxpayers.
- Outlandish pay and pensions for government workers with no money to pay for them.
California Highway Patrol division chief Jeff Talbott retired last year as the best-paid officer in the 12 most-populous U.S. states, collecting $483,581 in salary, pension and other compensation.
Talbott, 53, received $280,259 for accrued leave and vacation time and took a new job running the public-safety department at a private university in Southern California. He also began collecting an annual pension of $174,888 from the state reports Bloomberg News.
Union-negotiated benefits, coupled with overtime that can exceed regular pay and lax enforcement of limits on accumulating unused vacation, allow some troopers to double their annual earnings and retire as young as age 50.
The payments they get are unmatched by those elsewhere, according to data compiled by Bloomberg on 1.4 million employees of the 12 states. Some, like Talbott, go on to second careers.
Comrade Governor Brown hasn’t curbed overtime expenses that lead the 12 biggest states or limited payouts for accumulated vacation time that allowed one employee to claim a $609,000 check last year for accrued leave at retirement.
California’s liability for the unused leave of its state workers has more than doubled in eight years, to $3.9 billion in 2011, from $1.4 billion in 2003, according to the state’s annual financial reports.
Inflated EarningsCalifornia’s highest-paid state troopers make far more than those in other states, with overtime and lump-sum payouts that inflate earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show. They also enjoy a retirement benefit that allows them to leave after 30 years with annual pensions totaling 90 percent of their salaries, a standard that became the model for police departments throughout the state.
While more than 5,000 California troopers made at least $100,000 in 2011, only three in North Carolina did, the data show.
Talbott’s $483,581 in total pay -- adding six months of his $174,888 annual pension, based on his June 30, 2011, retirement date -- is almost four times as much as the $122,950 collected by the top-paid officer in North Carolina, a commander, the data show.
Talbott, who retired last June, took a job the following month as director of public safety at the University of Redlands. The university declined to release his pay.
Talbott’s former colleague James P. Leonard, 51, was the second-highest paid trooper in the country when he retired last year, collecting earnings of about $392,000, including salary, pension and a lump-sum payout of $201,555, according to data provided by the state controller and Calpers.
Talbott declined a request to be interviewed, said Patty Zurita, communications manager at the University of the Redlands in Redlands, California, where he now works.
For the full article go to Bloomberg News.