One of the architects of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan is living well at the taxpayer’s expense, a think-tank reported.

The right-leaning Empire Center highlighted Anita Laremont, the executive director of the Department of City Planning, as one of four civil servants raking in more than $300,000 this fiscal year thanks to special permission to receive both a public paycheck and public-pension payments. Waivers granted under Section 211 of New York’s Retirement and Social Security Law are supposed to allow the state and local governments to attract and retain employees younger than 65 that have unequaled and irreplaceable knowledge and skills.

Drawing on public documents from the first half of the year, the Empire Center pegged Laremont’s salary from the Department of City Planning at $204,251 and take-home pay from her Empire State Development pension at $114,742.

But this did not take into account Laremont’s August promotion from general counsel of the planning agency to executive director, a role in which she replaced Harvard-bound Purnima Kapur.

In her new position, Laremont receives an annual salary of $207,015.

The city credited Laremont, in her role as the agency’s attorney, with helping craft the mayor’s two key zoning initiatives: Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability. This, the Department of City Planning insisted, made her one of the “uniquely qualified individuals” eligible for a Section 211 waiver.

The other three “double-dipping” public officials earning upwards of $300,000 identified by the Empire Center are Yonkers Fire Commissioner Robert Sweeney, Lloyd Harbor Police Captain Thomas C. Krumpter and Herkimer County psychiatrist Vinay J. Patil. The report noted, however, that the real number of high-earning double-dippers may be considerably greater because waivers are only necessary for those under age 65 and data is unavailable from the New York City Police Pension fund.

© 2018 Crain’s New York Business

You may also like

State’s Growing Budget Hole Threatens NYC Jobs and Aid as Congress Takes a Holiday

“The biggest problem for the state is the enormous, recurring structural budget gap starting next year and into the future,” said E.J. McMahon of the conservative-leaning Empire Center. “Cuomo clearly hopes that starting in 2021, (Democratic presidential candidate Joseph) Biden and a Democratic Congress will provide states and local government a couple of year’s worth of added stimulus. Read More

How Andrew Cuomo became ‘maybe the most powerful governor’ in U.S.

Ed McKinley ALBANY — When the New York Constitution was reorganized nearly 100 years ago to give the governor more power over the budget process,  noted there was a risk of making “the governor a czar." M Read More

Study disputes Cuomo on Trump tax package; experts say it’s complicated

Michael Gormley ALBANY — A new study by a conservative think tank says President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law gave most New Yorkers a tax cut, even as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo insists on repealing the measure because he says it will cost New Yo Read More

Empire Center sues Department of Health over nursing home records

Johan Sheridan ALBANY, N.Y. () — The Empire Center filed a  against the state Department of Health on Friday. “This case isn’t about assigning blame or embarrassing political leaders,” said Bill Hammond, the Empire Center’s Read More

Good news: That New York pork isn’t going out the door after all

The Empire Center first reported Tuesday that grants — 226 of them, totaling $46 million, to recipients selected by the governor and individual state lawmakers — seemed to still be going ahead. Read More

New York Lawmakers Seek Independent Probe of Nursing-Home Coronavirus Deaths

With lingering questions about how the novel coronavirus killed thousands of New Yorkers who lived in nursing homes, a group of state lawmakers is pushing to create an independent commission to get answers from the state Department of Health. Read More

Policy analyst: Cuomo wrong to write-off nursing home criticism as political conspiracy

“The importance of discussing this and getting the true facts out is to understand what did and didn’t happen so we can learn from it in case this happens again,” Hammond said. Read More

EDITORIAL: Nursing home report requires a second opinion

No doubt, the Health Department and the governor would like this report to be the final word on the subject. But if it’s all the same with them, we’d still like a truly independent review. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!