Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith A. Davis, citing Gov. Corzine?s comment that the newly-enacted reforms of the public pension system would put an end to the ?culture of abuse? which had infected the system, said today that ?it is precisely that culture that has enabled Sheriff Jim McGettigan to collect a public pension based in part on the salary he receives in the office he holds.?
?McGettigan has been double-dipping for several years, currently collecting the $102,000 annual salary of the Sheriff while picking up a $5,100 a month pension check for the same job,? Davis said. ?It?s a textbook example of the abuse the Governor said last week he wanted to stamp out.?
?How many taxpayers can take advantage of a system to collect $61,200 a year from a pension system while continuing to hold the job on which those payments are based?? Davis asked. ?McGettigan is taking in $163,000 a year in combined salary and pension, contributing to the culture of abuse mentioned by the Governor.?
?It is this kind of manipulation which so infuriates taxpayers and leads inevitably to the belief that there are two sets of rules — one for them and one for elected officials,? he said. ?If the Governor needed another example of the culture of abuse, all he had to do was look at Jim McGettigan.?
?Unfortunately for the taxpayers, the Sheriff has a long and sorry history of attempts to secure a larger salary,? Davis said.
The record shows:
In 2002, he received a $20,000 raise
In 2006, he demanded retroactive cost of living increases for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005, which would have given him an additional $15,000 — a total increase of $35,000 in four years — and retained an attorney to bring a lawsuit against the county if the raises were not approved.
His demands, if met, would have brought his annual salary to $106,650, far exceeding other county department heads and placing him second only to the County Executive.
?In sum, McGettigan wanted to tack $106,650 to his $61,200 pension income for a taxpayer supported salary of $167, 850,? Davis said. ?His principal goal as Sheriff is clearly to boost his personal income to the highest level he can and bill the taxpayers for it.?