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Westchester County's top earners of 2019: 11 employees made more than $250K

County police and correction staff dominate list of total pay with overtime. Ninety-three employees were paid more than $200,000 last year.

Mark Lungariello
Rockland/Westchester Journal News

Westchester County paid its top-earning employee $352,000 last year, according to salary records obtained by The Journal News/lohud.

Retiring police Capt. Martin McGlynn topped a list of 100 county employees with the most pay in 2019, one of 11 workers who made more than $250,000 in salary, overtime and other compensation.

Ninety-three employees raked in more than $200,000 in gross pay for the year, the records show.

All but one of the top 100 worked in the Department of Public Safety, Department of Correction or District Attorney’s Office.

The Westchester County Police headquarters in Hawthorne, photographed Dec. 2, 2020.

That was Deputy Medical Examiner Aleksander Milovanovic, whose $210,000 salary put him at No. 69 on the list even with no overtime.

PUTNAM TOP EARNERS: Seven made $50K in OT

ROCKLAND TOP EARNERS: Three made more than $220K

YONKERS TOP EARNERS: 98 made more than $225K

Only two other employees made the list with no overtime: District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, who ranked No. 54 with total pay of $215,071, and another employee of his office whose name was redacted from the records.

The salary records show:

  • Four people made more in overtime and other extra pay in 2019 than their entire base salaries for the year.
  • 12 of the top 100 earners made more than $100,000 in overtime.
  • 74 of the top 100 worked in Public Safety, 19 worked in Correction and six worked in the District Attorney’s Office.
  • 2 people on the list retired during the year, including McGlynn who was paid for accrued leave after a long career in the county.
  • Another eight employees in the top 100 separated from employment this year, a county spokeswoman said.

The names of five employees of the DA’s office were redacted because the county claimed disclosing criminal investigators’ names would be a “personal invasion of privacy.” A county spokeswoman said those employees worked undercover and disclosing their names could put them in danger.

The top earners each year in Westchester and other municipal governments are often police and jail workers because their services are needed around the clock every day of the year.

Neil Pellone, president of the labor union of the Westchester County Correction Officers Benevolent Association, said it should not come as a surprise to see correction salaries high on the list.

“Our membership puts their safety on the line on a daily basis,” Pellone said. “We do our job and do it unrelentingly so members of the public can rest easy knowing they and their families are safe.”

County Executive George Latimer, a Democrat who took office in 2018, said it can be “very difficult” to be at 100% staffing in a police department even when that’s the goal.

Overtime is needed to bridge gaps, for unforeseen events and as new officers attend training before they’re able to take to the streets, he said.

Westchester County Jail in Valhalla, N.Y.

“You can compare that to a different department like planning, you hire someone who is going to be a planner they start Monday after they take notice to their prior job,” Latimer said in an interview.

Fewer made $200K

There were far fewer county employees who took home more than $200,000 in 2019 than in 2018, records show.

New union contracts for 2018 meant that retroactive salary increases and OT kicked in and contributed to 148 people making more than $200,000 that year. That was 55 more than the 98 who crossed that threshold in 2019.

That was still significantly more than neighboring Rockland and Putnam counties, which had eight and two employees, respectively, make more than $200,000 in gross pay last year, salary records show.

Westchester is significantly larger in population and staff size than its neighbors. This year, Westchester had a $2.1 billion budget that dwarfed Rockland and Putnam’s $709 million and $165 million spending plans for the year, respectively.

In general, county workers' pay and overtime are often eclipsed by their municipal counterparts.

Yonkers, Westchester's largest city, had 23 workers make more than $250,000 in 2019, more than double the number of Westchester County workers who hit that mark.

While Westchester had 12 people who made more than $100,000 in OT last year, Yonkers had 38.

Eight-month delay

The Journal News/lohud began requesting salary documents from various municipalities on Jan. 2, under New York state’s Freedom of Information Law, which ensures access to public records.

Other municipalities complied early in the year, but Westchester's Human Resources Department took eight months to fulfill the request.

It supplied the records in September, two months after a Journal News attorney sent a letter to the department about the delay.

And the records were supplied in PDF form though they had been requested in Excel spreadsheet format.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, with Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, speaks about the COVID-19 situation ahead of the Thanksgiving.

Under FOIL, a municipality has five business days to acknowledge a request, then 20 more business days to reject, comply, or state a reason for a delay and give a new date for compliance.

FOIL also says records are to be provided on the medium requested “if the agency can reasonably make such a copy or have such a copy made by engaging an outside professional service.”

Latimer said he prides his administration as being transparent and was committed to making sure such requests are fulfilled timely moving forward.

2020 and beyond

The coronavirus pandemic will reshape municipal staffing salaries and overtime in Westchester and beyond when the books close on 2020.

Facing budgeting uncertainties and the most significant public health crisis in more than 100 years, Westchester offered an early retirement incentive that 226 employees took this year.

Latimer said he plans to fill 25% of those vacant positions. The health emergency and unfilled positions may have led to a spike in OT in certain departments when 2020 numbers are finalized, he said.

Going into 2021, he said he planned to look at staffing and OT, mindful that the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet even as vaccines head to approval and production.

“We’ve got our managerial work ahead of us,” he said.

The 2020 budget came with more than 4,900 budgeted positions but there are now roughly 4,400 workers on the county payroll.

The county received $168 million in federal COVID-19 related relief funds which covered spending and salaries in the Public Safety, Correction, Emergency Services and Health departments.

Latimer’s proposed budget for next year would slightly reduce the property tax levy by relying on a projected surplus that was boosted by federal aid.

DATABASE: Who were Westchester's top paid in 2019?

Who was paid the most? 

Here is a look at the 10 employees of Westchester who made the highest gross pay last year, with their listed base salaries:

1. Martin McGlynn, captain, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $352,081.50. Base pay: $184,280.02.    

2. Brian Hess, lieutenant, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $274,792.62. Base pay: $157,505

3. Scott McMahon, officer, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $270,432.39. Base pay: $114,620

4. Tony Malandrino, sergeant, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $267,509.67. Base pay: $134,620

5. Adrian Coley, captain, Correction, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $267,016.81. Base pay: $143,270

6. James Luciano, captain, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $264,512.91. Base pay: $184,280

7. Roy Omess, captain, Correction

Total compensation: $263,337.01. Base pay: $143,270

8. Paul Stasaitis, captain, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $259,295.08. Base pay: $134,620

9. Christopher Perricone, officer, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $258,208.36. Base pay: $114,620

10. Anthony Rao, officer, Public Safety Services

Total compensation: $257.920.19. Base pay: $146,620

Most OT

Seven of the top 10 were also in the top 10 of overtime on the list:

  • Scott McMahon, officer, Public Safety: $133,866.19
  • Christopher Perricone, officer, Public Safety: $122,012.53
  • Anthony Rao, officer, Public Safety: $121,344.41
  • Tony Malandrino, sergeant, Public Safety: $119,475.96
  • Adrian Coley, captain, Correction: $118,479.97
  • Christopher Grasso, officer, Public Safety: $114,457.83
  • Roy Omess, captain, Correction: $114,186.97
  • Eugene Pope, correction officer, Correction: $113,992.14
  • Marc Moskalik, officer, Public Safety: $106,774.96
  • Brian Hess, lieutenant, Public Safety: $105,524.20

See the entire list of top earners below:

Mark Lungariello covers government and politics. Follow him on Facebook @lungariello and Twitter @marklungariello