Monday, November 22, 2010

Sheriff DiPaola and double dipping

From the Globe:

Middlesex County Sheriff James V. DiPaola had it all lined up. He was going to take advantage of a loophole in state law allowing him to collect a $98,500 annual pension on top of his sheriff’s salary of $123,000, starting next year.

But after a sleepless Friday night, he succumbed to second thoughts.

“I think I made a mistake,’’ he said in an early-morning phone call to a Globe reporter yesterday.

Instead of taking his pension and keeping his job, the longtime sheriff said he has decided to resign in January, just weeks after easily winning reelection on Nov. 2. Governor Deval Patrick will name his successor.

Until the Globe began asking about his retirement deal on Friday, DiPaola had a much different plan.

DiPaola, a 57-year-old Democrat, had quietly filed retirement papers on Oct. 28, looking to exploit a section of the state pension law that allows retirees to run for paid elective office without losing their pensions. All he had to do was not accept a paycheck until his new term began in January.

That gambit, which even his own employees seemed unaware of, would have increased his annual income by $98,500 for doing the same job he’s been doing since 1997.