The List: New Jersey’s 16 ‘Double-Dipping’ County Sheriffs

Mark Lagerkvist | September 19, 2016 | The List
All told, the sheriffs on this list pull down about $3.3 million a year in public pay — $2.1 million in county salaries plus $1.2 million from state pensions

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino
Sheriffs in three-fourths of New Jersey’s 21 counties are “double-dippers,” a NJ Spotlight analysis found. They are elected officials who collect six-figure salaries in addition to pensions as retired law enforcement officers.

Here is our list of the state’s 16 double-dipping sheriffs, in order of their annual public incomes:

1. Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino (D)

$267,987 – $138,000 salary + $129,987 pension as an Emerson Borough police retiree

2. Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik (D)

$253,957 – $151,887 salary + $102,070 pension as a Clifton police retiree

3. Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy (R)

$234,309 – $110,244 salary + $124,065 pension as a Toms River Township police retiree

4. Mercer County Sheriff John Kemler (D)

$233,330 – $148,199 salary + $84,831 pension as a Mercer County sheriff’s office retiree

5. Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano (R)

$211,227 – $135,206 salary + $76,021 pension as a Bridgewater Township police retiree

6. Warren County Sheriff David P. Gallant (R)

$210,636 – $128,149 salary + $82,487 pension as a State Police retiree

7. Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura (D)

$210,187 – $147,794 salary + $62,393 pension as a retired Essex County undersheriff

8. Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D)

$204,095 – $142,754 salary + $61,341 pension as a retiree of the Middlesex County sheriff’s office

9. Morris County Sheriff Edward V. Rochford (R)

$200,838 – $139,203 salary + $61,545 pension as a Morris Township police retiree

10. Hunterdon County Sheriff Frederick W. Brown (R)

$197,796 – $115,868 salary + $81,928 pension as a retiree of Raritan Township police

11. Gloucester County Sheriff Carmel M. Morina (D)

$197,189 – $133,740 salary + $63,449 pension as a Greenwich Township police retiree

12. Salem County Sheriff Charles M. Miller (R)

$195,452– $119,386 salary + $76,066 pension as a retiree of the Salem County prosecutor’s office

13. Camden County Sheriff Gilbert Wilson (D)

$195,136 – $144,753 salary + $50,383 pension as a Camden City police retiree

14. Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada (R)

$172,033 – $125,060 salary + $46,973 pension as Mount Olive Township police retiree

15. Cumberland County Sheriff Robert Austino (D)

$166,938 – $107,250 salary + $59,688 pension as a Vineland police retiree

16. Cape May County Sheriff Gary Schaffer (R)

$161,654 – $107,500 salary + $54,154 pension as an Ocean City police retiree

Double-dipping is a bipartisan practice among New Jersey sheriffs. Eight Republicans and eight Democrats collect both county paychecks and state pension pay. (See related story.)

Combined, the 16 sheriffs receive roughly $3.3 million a year in public pay — $2.1 million in county salaries plus $1.2 million from state pensions. On average, each sheriff collects $207,000 a year — $131,000 in salaries and $76,000 from retirement pay.

Sheriffs frequently hire retired law enforcement officers for key positions in their departments. NJ Spotlight found 33 retirees working as undersheriffs in 18 counties. They draw a total of $6 million a year from public coffers — $3.3 million in salaries and $2.7 million from pensions.

Overall, the 49 double-dipping sheriffs and undersheriffs receive $9.3 million a year — $5.4 million in salaries plus $3.9 million from pensions.

Source: County payrolls obtained through Open Public Records Act requests and the state Treasury’s online pension database.