After telling their supervisors they were too sick to work, four New York City teachers took honeymoons in Aruba and Italy–while an Albany police employee collected as much as $750 a-day giving speeches across the country.

One newlywed does appear not to be contrite. Robert Nappo and his new wife Cindy, also a teacher, each took five sick days and three unapproved personal days to honeymoon in Aruba in 2008.

A teacher of 32 years, Robert blamed a jealous snitch for busting them. “It’s unfair that gutless people who may have it in for you stoop so low to do something this,” he told theDaily News.

Nappo and his wife were fined $7,500 each for their island getaway.

They are among 13 teachers and other school employees who either lost their jobs or paid fines for faking illness, according to the reports by Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon. The News reports:

Each busted worker managed to get sick notes from their doctors–but most needed a lesson in how to be discreet. Fresh tans and Facebook photos tipped off administrators and co-workers to some of the secret jaunts, according to investigators.

In the case of Albany’s freelancing gang prevention specialist Ronald “Cook” Barrett, his nearly 325 appearances at out-of-town conferences, seminars and events since 2004 apparently raised no red flags with his police department supervisors–even though he took sick time to attend some of them.

Instead, a four-month investigation by the Albany Times Union exposed Barrett taking full or partial sick days 47 times in a two-and-a-half year period.

This year alone, Barrett has visited the Bronx, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Canada.

In 2008, Barrett was paid a total of $1,500 to speak at two separate events in West Virginia, the money coming from federal grants. He was paid a total of $2,850 by the Schenectady school system for four appearances, while also collecting sick pay or full pay for some of the time.

After the Times Union questioned city officials about Barrett’s work history, Mayor Jerry Jennings said an independent counsel will examine the case. In the meantime, Barrett is on paid administrative leave.

No word on whether he can continue to pocket $750 speaking fees while on paid leave.

Originally Published: NY Public Payroll Watch, August 24, 2010

You may also like

Meanwhile, on the mandate relief front

Governor Cuomo’s 2012-13 budget, to be presented later today, will command media attention for the rest of the week. Advance reports on his modified pension reform proposal are especially promising. Meanwhile, there’s a (fiscally) cost-free approach to helping local governments and school districts alleviate their budget problems: repealing the Triborough Amendment. Read More

Legislature rejects union arbitration cap

Governor Cuomo’s proposal to cap arbitration awards for police and firefighters is not included in the Senate or Assembly budget bills. This may be blessing in disguise: as argued here, Cuomo’s original proposal didn’t go nearly far enough. Since the arbitration law expires on June 30, the governor remains in a commanding position to demand more. Read More

Labor costs rose faster in public sector in ‘09

Employee compensation in the state and local government sector increased at twice the private-sector rate during the 12 months ending in December, according to national data released todayby the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

Getting Triborough wrong

“Mandate relief remains elusive,” is one of the state-related headlines in today’s Albany Times Union — and that much, at least, is true. Unfortunately, the articlebeneath the headline repeats a familiar canard about the origins of the Triborough Amendment. Read More

Persuading co-workers to retire

Oneida County employees participating in a proposed cash buyout program would have a strong incentive to get their co-workers to join them: their payments will increase if more employees participate. Read More

Examining MDs

Should physicians, who are licensed by the state of New York, be required to take a civil service exam in order to work for the state of New York? A state judge thinks so, but that's unlikely to be the last word on the controversy. Read More

Teaching without contracts

As schools open, the number of school districts at impasse with teacher unions has increased by 12 percent since a year ago, according to the Public Employment Relations Board. Also noteworthy--although not emphasized by PERB--nearly one out of three school districts has yet to negotiate a new contract with its teachers. Read More

Car 54, where are you?

New York City will track the whereabouts of its 379 building inspectors with GPS technology installed, not in their city-issued vehicles, but in their cell phones. 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!