NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Seventeen of New Jersey’s 21 county sheriffs are collecting a pension on top of their six-figure salaries, according to a report by New Jersey Watchdog.
The 17 double-dipping sheriffs and 29 undersheriffs who do the same thing are raking in $8.3 million a year, said New Jersey Watchdog’s Mark Lagerqvist.
“It’s very lucrative for them, but for taxpayers it’s not that great of a deal,” Lagerqvist told WCBS 880′s Wayne Cabot.
Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino is being paid the most of the state’s sheriffs — $138,000 in salary, and nearly $130,000 more from his pension.
There is generally nothing illegal about such double-dipping in New Jersey.
“It’s the effect that it has on the pension system in New Jersey, which is already $47 billion in debt,” Lagerqvist said. “And what happens is the way the system is set up, a lot of these people are able to retire with full pensions when they’re still in their mid-40s. What you have is a pension system that is way in debt, paying out benefits decades in advance to people who are still working.”
Ten counties are voting on sheriffs Nov. 5. But Lagerqvist conceded that word of their double-dipping ways is unlikely to impact elections.
“For the most part, either the incumbents who are double dippers are unchallenged, or their challengers would be double dippers if they were elected,” he said.
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