Mayor Says Ex-Chief's Nearly $400K Payout Not His Doing
James Barberio said he shares Gov. Christie's anger over large payouts he blamed on contracts that preceded his administration.
Mayor James Barberio says he does not bear responsibility for the nearly $400,000 being paid to newly retired Parsippany Police Chief Anthony DeZenzo, who left the job after 18 months as the town's top cop.
DeZenzo retired March 1 after a 32-year career in law enforcement—one year with the Morris County Sheriff's Office and the rest with township police. According to a retirement calculations document obtained through an Open Public Records Act request, he called it quits with an accumulation of 418 unused personal, sick and vacation days worth $379,082.31.
The documents also said he was to receive an additional $16,003.79 for 160.6 hours of unused compensatory time.
The total payout, according to the OPRAed documents, amounts to $395,086.10, and does not include the annual $131,952 pension payout DeZenzo is set to receive.
Barberio's figures differ slightly. He told Patch that the former chief's payout totaled $375,456.60 covering 414 unused sick, vacation and personal days.
Patch has contacted the town in order to determine the reason for the four-day discrepancy and awaits a response.
"Almost 400 of these unused days were accrued under [the law enforcement unions] Police Benevolent Association and Superior Officers Association contracts during Chief DeZenzo’s first 29 years with the Parsippany Police Department," the mayor explained, citing township Business Administrator Jasmine Lim. "Over 270 days were banked in 1999 prior to a contractual change which limited the number of personal and vacation days which could be carried over from one year to another."
According to Barberio, the contractual agreements were made prior to the start of his administration in 2009 and the town had no choice but to honor them.
"I attended a recent town hall meeting in Montville with Gov. Christie, and one of his topics was public employees' accumulated sick and vacation time," he said. "I share the governor’s outrage at the amount of money paid to public employees for accumulated sick and vacation time.
"I am working hard to end that practice in Parsippany."