The Empire Center has posted the annual salaries of 179,000 local government employees in New York, including a retired Town of Clarkstown police officer Thomas Purtill who took home $543,416 during a 12-month period.

The payrolls are available on For press release, here. For 36-page report, calculating average salaries in 1,512 cities, counties, towns and villages outside New York City, here. New York City salaries were posted earlier this year.

Using the data, Daily Gazette columnist Carl Strock reports (link for paid subscribers only) 59 police and firefighters in Schenectady made more than $100,000, “led by police officer Dwayne Johnson with $169,461.”

He’s the fellow who is suspected of working as a private security guard at a Hess station at the same time he was supposed to be on duty as a cop, and then cheating both employers spending his hours at an apartment. He has been on leave–paid leave–since February.

Not only was Purtill the highest paid local government employee in New York, “four of his Clarkstown colleagues join him among the state’s top 10,” the Journal News reports.

Purtill worked two days a week since injuring his back in December 2006. His total of $543,416 included a $253,000 payout this year to settle a dispute over sick pay entitlements stemming from his disability status.

Next on the state list was Clarkstown police Capt. Robert Mahon, with $332,265. The town police chief, Peter Noonan, was fourth with $315,583; Clarkstown Police Officers Craig Alemi and Peter Aiston were sixth and ninth on the list, making $283,096 and $249,874, respectively.

The Times Union reports:

Within the four-county center of the Capital Region, the top three earners were identified as Dr. Ivan Engel at $194,765, Dr. Gary Oberg at $194,730 and Dr. Robert Harnick at $177,991. All three have offices listed online at 211 Church St. in Saratoga Springs, where the county mental health center is located. 

The fourth top earner was Schenectady police Officer Dwayne Johnson, who made $169,461 in 2008-09, topping the Electric City and other local cities.

On Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region, police and firefighter salaries are the norm. The village of Kensington’s six police officers earned an average of $160,173, according to the Empire Center’s report.

For news stories on the payroll report, see hereherehereherehere, and here.

Originally Published: NY Public Payroll Watch

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