Ramapo taxpayers last year had the unfortunate distinction of employing the state’s highest-paid police chief—who was also the highest paid local government worker in the whole state. Now, they’re finding out why.
Since-retired police chief Peter Brower pocketed $369,088 from the town during 2015, chalking up more than $100,000 in overtime.
The high final year of pay helped Brower spike his pension, which at $229,266 has given him the highest pension of any retired town employee in the state of New York.
What did Ramapo taxpayers get in return for this sizable pay?
An investigation by The Journal News revealed that Brower had illegally used department staff, on taxpayer time, to perform work for his side business. The paper also raised questions about instances when Brower was claiming overtime pay at times he was also performing work for his business.
Before you smash your keyboard in frustration, it gets worse…
Brower abused the system, but taxpayers should be more concerned that four town board members were okay with this arrangement, and that even after the news reports–and a request from a town board member to investigate the situation–the town still hasn’t looked into how seriously Brower was ripping them off. And they have not pursued criminal charges.
The Journal News found that Brower was the only area police chief collecting overtime, and that he billed the town of Ramapo for time spent marching in parades, appearing at town meetings and for an appearance involving a “pumpkin patch.”
How many other Peter Browers are out there, ripping off the people keeping the lights on in town hall? It’s impossible to say.