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Five Bergen Sheriffs Earn Combined $1 Million

Sheriff Michael Saudino, undersheriffs pulling in six-figure salaries while collecting pensions, report finds.

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino and his top four aides earn a combined $1 million in salaries and pensions, a report on the website New Jersey Watchdog concludes.

Saudino and undersheriffs Steven Librie, Robert Colaneri, Harry Shortway Jr. and Brian Smith were among 44 high-ranking sheriff's officers identified statewide as earning six-figure salaries while collecting often six-figure pensions.

Saudino, 59, earns $138,000 salary plus a $130,000 pension, the report found.

Saudino partly by convincing voters that fiscal responsibility and reduced spending were priorities.

Saudino, who was police chief in Emerson for nine years, promised to eliminate what he called "unnecessary and costly duplication of services," including clearly delineating between county and local responsibilities. He was also critical of what he called years of waste and out-of-control spending in the Sheriff's Department.

Shortway, 72, spent . He was appointed by Saudino to lead the foreclosures and writs divisions of the department.

Shortway earns $186,000, which includes a $76,000 yearly pension. Shortway unsuccessfully ran twice for sheriff, in 1998 and 2007, and served as undersheriff from 2002 to 2005 under Sheriff Joel Trella.

Steven Librie, who retired as deputy chief after 26 years with the Teaneck police department, serves as Saudino's executive undersheriff. Librie retired in August 2010. He earns $219,000, which is comprised of a $115,000 salary and a $104,000 pension.

Former Paramus police Capt. Brian Smith earns $218,000 as an undersheriff, including a $110,000 salary and $108,000 pension. Smith was head of security at before accepting the job.

Rounding out the five is former Carlstadt Police Chief Michael Colaneri, who earns $110,000 as undersheriff and collects a $76,000 pension.

Al Scala October 18, 2011 at 06:35 PM
I agree with REResident. I don't like the idea of an individual double dipping. They may be triple dipping if their collecting social security.Look, I'm sure arguments can be made pro and con.
Rock October 18, 2011 at 08:28 PM
I think there are 2 different issues here. Are the jobs these guys are doing unnecessary? If so, the jobs should be eliminated. This is separate from whether or not the person performing the job is earning a pension from a previous job. Are the jobs necessary but they are being overpaid? That's easy to correct also. If the job is necessary and that is the market salary level, how exactly is the public being hit twice? If they weren't doing the job, someone else would be needed to do the job while the pension is still being paid as agreed. So, if you are a retiree collecting social security AND working at the local grocery store you're categorized as a 'double dipper'? Stealing a job from someone who needs it because you already collect money from social security? How about an article about teachers collecting pensions then going off to work as teachers in another district?
Michael October 18, 2011 at 08:37 PM
This is very Old News. Does the pension system for ALL employees need to be changed, absolutely. However, you are missing the point. NONE of these men are doing anything wrong (or illegal). They are following an obsolete system. Which started for many of them over 30 years ago. That was a time we all got full medical insurance at our jobs. at no cost, remember? These are highly experienced Law Enforcement officers, that's what got them elected. Do we want to eliminate experienced law enforcement officers from running for public office? When this occurred same scenario happened 20 years ago (and you all know it did), no one even blinked! Instead of saying you don’t like it now, get the system changed, instead of trying to vilify them and besmirch their characters.
REResident October 19, 2011 at 01:33 AM
@Michael I did not see any comments that vilified and besmirched the sheriff's characters. We believe what they did was legidimate base on what the system is. We are expressing our frustration on how bad the public pension system can be. If you are being paid a pension with tax payers dollars then you ought not be paid a salary from tax payers dollars. Go ahead and work in the private sector and collect a pension paid by tax payers dollars. If both are from tax payers dollars, you are double dipping.
MARIO SICARI October 19, 2011 at 02:00 AM
@ Michael no one is vilifying anyone...the system is unsustainable...what you are witnessing in Greece will eventually find its way here give it time...
susan October 19, 2011 at 12:13 PM
This system was put place when public employees earned much less than the public sector. Since public employees now earn 25-30% more than comparable private sector jobs the system must be amended accordingly.
Andy Schmidt October 19, 2011 at 12:44 PM
I see two systematic problems: a) I'm thinking you are EITHER a public employee OR a public retiree - can't be both (applies to teachers as well). One income should be applied against the other. b) If they are able to retire THAT young that they can start an entire second career - then is the retirement age for public servants the SAME range as for the private sector. What is now -- 67 for full benefits? I agree that our public employees need to receive attractive/competitive compensation - but the total value of the compensation (incl. paid sick/vacation days that can be accumulated, pension system, family health insurance coverage, tenure, etc.) has to me measured against a comparable job in the private sector so that the cost is sustainable for the taxpayers that are being served.
Dominick Nizza October 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Double Dipping goes far beyond this topic see LINK on source of funding: CLICK Here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7jw5yRDDCI View it all
Harlan Consider October 19, 2011 at 01:28 PM
People in the private sector who make this kind of money have to deal with very stressful jobs, self-financed retirement plans, long hours, and worst of all, an environment where you are vulnerable to the loss of that job at any time.
Anna October 19, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Let's also not forget that the double dippers probably used their connections and relationships built up during the life of their first position in the public sector to acquire their second, post-retirement jobs. Sweetheart deals based on who you know, family relationships, buddy systems. (In private corporations, you typically can't hire your friends, relatives and neighbors, as I see so often in New Jersey towns.), That's the other reason why retired public employees should not be given another, similar job in the same town or county, regardless of their "experience" or qualifications. I agree that if they want to start a new "career", then they should do so in the private sector. (Further, don't they acrue new sick days, vacation days, etc in the second public sector job? Perhaps even add more to their pension benefits? It's outrageous.)
Michael October 19, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Because it is a public pension, the criteria is flawed. It's really no different than a PO doing 20-25&out, then taking another job while collecting his/her pension. Maybe if the pension was replaced with a defined contribution plan versus a defined benefit plan, the person would not drain their own well until they reached their retirement years. On the subject of double-dipping, that would be more like what happened in Essex County http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/03/24/new-story/ . Basically, if you retire from your employer, you can not collect a pension AND be paid by your former employer.
Michael October 19, 2011 at 03:37 PM
The remedy would be to have ALL public employees pay into their pensions, just like the private sector. Then if they retire and take another Public job, it is their money that is used, not the taxpayers. Again, you can't retro fit this, but you can change it going forward.
Cluch October 19, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Hey Michael , they already pay into their pensions...every month taken from paychecks.
barbara October 19, 2011 at 06:33 PM
Hey Governor Christie.....are you listening???
fred mosca October 19, 2011 at 07:28 PM
Mr.Saudino earns $76,000.00 more per year than Eric Holder,Attorney General of U.S....do the math....
Rock October 19, 2011 at 08:44 PM
So fire them all. But it won't save taxpayers a dime. Thats assuming that these functions are needed. If not, thats a whole different story. If they are overpaid, thats a whole different story as well. But thats not what this story is about.
John Hahn October 19, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Anyone who posts under nickname like John Q. Public is hiding something. If you have something real to say. Post your real name and stand behind what have to say. Anonymous postings, while allowed, really detract from the discussion. If you are afraid of recrimination or retaliation then submit your post through the editor and ask him to post it as 'Name withheld'
John Hahn October 19, 2011 at 10:20 PM
Spot on NealR2000. There is little or no protection in the private sector. You do not produce or serve a purpose you may be gone.
John Hahn October 19, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Really? The BC Sheriff earns MORE that the Attorney General of the 50 United States. This is a part of the real problem.
Andy Schmidt October 20, 2011 at 02:15 PM
But how are the contributions split? In the private sector, the employee might be lucky to get a 3% or 5% matching from his employer - so the employee pays 95% of his own "pension". If the percentage is different for public employees, then this needs to be looked at as part of their compensation when comparing salaries and other benefits. If private sector employees tend to have high deductibles, co-pay and contribution rates to their health insurance, and no vision or dental benefits - and the public sector employees have different coverage - then this can amount to tens of thousands of dollars for family coverage and need to be consider when comparing compensation. I don't begrudge anyone their compensation - I just want to be certain that we don't compare salaries ONLY and don't potentially leave out a huge "unspoken" portion of the total compensation (such as guaranteed/accumulated sick, vacation and other days). If one wants all these benefits, then one cannot expect to make more than maybe 70% of the private sector employee who has to "fund" all these perks him-/herself.
Bernard Lyons October 21, 2011 at 12:28 AM
I don't have a problem with having a job while taking a pension. I DO think that local, state and county pensions are too lucrative though. 1/2 to 3/4 pay is too much for any gov't employee except for Firemen, Police and Emergency Services people. The military who serve in War don't get 1/2 pay after 20 years even though everyone thinks they do. Military pensions are based on 1/2 of "BASE PAY" which is only approx. 36% of total compensation. Civilian "Bureaucrats" and a lot of teachers get high pensions for relatively short terms of employment. That needs to stop. To earn 1/2 pay you should have to be employed at lest 30 years before you can pull that much money in.
Michael Rosenberg October 21, 2011 at 04:17 AM
Bernie, Teachers have to work 25 years for their full pension and it takes at least 17 years for top pay. They pay into that pension the day they start working. No teachers receive a pension for short terms of employment. Seriously check your facts.
Andy Schmidt October 21, 2011 at 01:12 PM
Which raises the question, can we afford a pension system that allows public employees to retire after 25 years with full pensions (at and age still young enough to start a second career with additional pay and benefits), when WE can hardly afford our own retirements at AGE 67!
BellairBerdan October 21, 2011 at 02:10 PM
Andy have you been working for the same employer 25 years? Each pension system is different, mine was 35 years on the job AND be at least 55 yrs of age. (which means you would have had to started work with them at age 20 to retire at 55) Those "early" retirements are usually for highly physical occupations. Do you want a 67 year old police officer running down the street after the 20 yr old that just slashed and stole something from you? Or will you next propose that we do away with age discrimination laws?
B@B October 21, 2011 at 02:11 PM
Rock: If you are collecting Social Security and working at the local grocery store, you are not collecting pay from two public entities. And by the way, you can only earn a certain amount of money with a paid job before your Social Security benefits are cut. If I start collecting Social Security and then go back to the job I had before retirement, I am not still collecting Social Security. So if Mr. Saudino retires from the police force, and takes a job as sheriff, let him collect his sheriff pay while he has that job, and then collect his police pension after he leaves office. Why is that so unreasonable?
Rock October 21, 2011 at 02:21 PM
B@B Sounds like you are raising the point similar to another poster regarding – you can either be a government pension collector or an government employee, but not both. It does indeed sound reasonable.
Andy Schmidt October 21, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Yes, I just had my 30th anniversary. Yes, I do have a 401K to supplement my retirement income in (still MANY) years ahead. I do understand that physical (or mental) abilities may change with age (speaking from experience) - which may effect which job duties someone can be assigned to. That doesn't alter the fact that if someone can retire at 55 with FULL benefits (as if they were unable to work) and THEN start their own business (let's say a Karate school) or take on equally challenging jobs in the private (let say fitness instructor) or even the public sector (Undersheriff) - then a retirement was never called for in the first place. Even law enforcement has positions that don't involve chasing down criminals on the street?
BellairBerdan October 21, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Well Andy, it's a shame you feel you are worth nothing more than a goodbye after working for the same employer for 30 years.
Marc Leibman October 22, 2011 at 04:32 AM
this would be 1/2 the story it is if Saudino didn't have billboards and an overfunded (republican crony) election campaign where he promised to "cut the waste". The reality is that he and his bloated staff (who get free clothes and cars on top of pension and salary) are nothing but WASTE themselves.
Andy Schmidt October 22, 2011 at 03:48 PM
BellairBerdan - problem with reading comprehension, or mind-reader? >> you feel you are worth nothing more than a goodbye << I assume you can provide a quote to back up this statement?

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