Cops’ massive salaries are robbing taxpayers blind

| New York Post

Knocking over banks is for amateurs.

Local cops in towns and counties around New York state are robbing taxpayers blind with astronomical yearly salaries — including one officer who pulled down $442,000, a new report shows.

Tom Donnelly, who retired as a Ramapo school safety officer in August, earned the investment-banker-sized paycheck over a 12-month period ending in March — making him the highest paid local cop anywhere outside New York City, according to a report from the Empire Center.

By contrast, Gov. Cuomo made $179,000 last year.

The study showed that local cops like Donnelly are the highest-paid group of government employes in municipalities excluding the five boroughs.

“Personnel costs are the biggest part of most local government budgets, and thereby the biggest driver behind our high property taxes,” Empire Center Executive Director Tim Hoefer said.

A 27-year-veteran, Donnelly earned a base salary of $151,000. In 2015, he took home $156,000 with overtime.

His pay then skyrocketed to $441,968 during the 12 months leading up to March 31, as he cashed in a large amount of unused vacation time shortly before his retirement, according to the report. How much more Donnelly — who declined to comment — made between March and August was not available.

The salary cops make in their final year is often used to calculate pension size.

Donnelly is one of many brothers in blue who proved that crime may not pay — but fighting it does. Their uniform pockets were lined with $9.7 billion in taxpayer-backed earnings during the year ending March 31, according the Empire Center.

Cops in Rockland and Nassau counties fared especially well. Donnelly and four other Rockland officers were among the 47 cops included in the Empire report’s top 50 highest paid government employees outside New York City.

Twenty-five of the top 50 earning workers hailed from the Nassau County PD, where the average salary was $150,000. The top earner there last year, Lt. Thomas Karp, made $333,345.

The highest average pay, $220,088, went to a group of 20 cops in the Village of Kings Point, according to the report.

None of them, however, topped the highest paid officer in the NYPD, who made $640,000 in 2016.

The report examined earnings of 174,635 workers enrolled in the state and local retirement systems beyond the five boroughs.

“This report provides a tool for local officials and taxpayers who want to see how their community stacks up,” Hoefer said.

The report also found 4,179 workers were paid for two or more local government jobs.

Twenty-six employees raked in over $200,000 by working two government jobs at once. Seventeen were village police employees in Suffolk County.