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NJ Watchdog: Polhemus, Sommeling Among 51 County Police Officials 'Double Dipping'

Investigation finds law enforcement officials collectively earning $3.7M a year in salary while drawing $5.4M annually in pensions

Ocean County Sheriff William Polhemus and Undersheriff William Sommeling are among 51 county law enforcement officials in New Jersey who still receive salaries while also drawing a pension, according to a report by New Jersey Watchdog.

The investigation found that 17 sheriffs and 34 undersheriffs collectively earn $9.1 million a year "double dipping" — $3.7 million in retirement pay on top of $5.4 million in salaries — while utilizing loopholes under Gov. Chris Christie's pension reforms.

Locally, Polhemus earns $165,941 annually, with $43,272 of his compensation in pension costs. Sommeling makes $116,540 a year, with $27,540 coming from his pension.

New Jersey Watchdog reports that participants in police pension plans qualify for "special" retirement after 25 years of service but often find opportunities to get back onto the public payroll, benefiting "from creative strategies, loopholes in laws and lax enforcement of rules."

“It’s not a great deal for taxpayers, and it’s something we need to fix,” state Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth, told NBC 4 New York, which produced the report in concert with New Jersey Watchdog. “The pension system is to support you when you’re done working. It isn’t there for you to enrich yourself by taking on another public salary.”

Beck also has sponsored a bill that would suspend state pension payments to public retirees who return to work at salaries beyond $15,000, but it has stalled in committee, the report states. 

Essex County's Armando Fontoura makes the most among county officials while "double-dipping," the report states, earning $1.14 million in pension checks, while drawing a salary for the past 22 years.

“Does it look bad? Yes. No question about it, it looks bad. Was it legal? Yes,” Fontoura told NBC 4 New York.

Click here to read the full report.

Chief Wahoo October 16, 2012 at 03:42 PM
had enough yet sheep ????....because these guys have not had enough of taking your hard earned money
LT Guy October 16, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Seriously, these guys are just the tip of the "iceburg". If the people of Ocean County keep "snorting" the garbage these guys are feeding them based of party affiliation, eventually they will start to feel what they've been getting back in return... and they'll find it very hard to sit!!
CrusaderRabbit October 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I'm sure the Union workers who retire after 25 years and work another job don't complain about their pensions. And we pay for that too through extra costs out of our own pockets.
Ryan Hardy October 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Polhemus needs to be put out to pasture.
LT Guy October 16, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Couldn't have a more qualified guy running against him than this year's challenger... Col. Bob Armstrong. Maybe Ocean County Voters will finally wake up.
Chief Wahoo October 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM
i believe Armstrong would be a double dipper as well......this is a rigged game....by BOTH GANG OF THIEFS ! WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!
JOHNNY Done it October 17, 2012 at 03:29 AM
THEY all are theifs ...Armstrong had never had a chance to hold 2 political jobs..He retired from the service...It is the law that needs to be changed since most of these politicians have some type of law back ground .They will not shoot themselves in the foot ( except polhemus ) so they will collect less...
JOHNNY Done it October 17, 2012 at 03:47 AM
both of them guys should living in florida RETIRED not running a sheriffs dept
grace October 17, 2012 at 02:00 PM
i seriously could just vomit
grace October 17, 2012 at 02:03 PM
yes unions who make ( encourage strongly) their employees vote for the democratic party....this is true among the teachers too...come on people when will it be enough chief wahoo meet you in the pasture
grace October 17, 2012 at 02:04 PM
yes on nj pensions
Sydney October 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Why am I not surprised.
susieQ October 21, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Well voters, it has been time now for several years to make a change is it this year
Mike D November 06, 2012 at 07:55 PM
It was just a matter of time before the Unions got dragged in. baaaaaaaaaaa
Mike D November 06, 2012 at 07:58 PM
8% of the workforce is responsible for all of the countries problems. Drink up sheep.

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