Longtime Addison Police Chief Timothy Hayden soon won't be able to arrest anyone, but he'll still be in charge of the police department while making much more money to do so.
In an effort to keep the village's top cop in place, the village board is allowing Hayden to retire as police chief but continue as the village's director of police, a newly created civilian position. While Hayden loses most of his official policing powers, he is expected to gain more than $100,000 a year from pension benefits.
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Village officials are pleased with the plan, and it was approved by the village board Monday night, but critics are calling it an example of "double dipping."
Hayden did not return calls to his office and home seeking comment about the move.
Addison Mayor Larry Hartwig said the village will pay Hayden more than $136,000 a year in his new role, a dip from his chief's salary of $140,911. The move eliminates the police chief position from the budget as well.
Hayden, who has more than the required 30 years on the job to be fully vested in the police retirement program, can begin collecting a pension that will be about 75 percent of his final salary. That means with his salary and pension combined, Hayden would make about $241,000 a year. His pension also receives an automatic annually compounded 3 percent boost every year as well.
"He was offered a police chief's job in another town and we like what he was doing here," Hartwig said. "What am I gaining by allowing him to go to another community?"
Hartwig said it's a similar maneuver that's been done in other communities to keep popular public safety heads in place over the years. While Hayden draws his police pension and collects his municipal paycheck, he will also be contributing to a second pension plan through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
Paul Kersey, director of labor policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, called the move "pension abuse."
"It's a clear example of government bending itself over backward to take care of one of its own and pushing the concerns of taxpayers aside," Kersey said. "The question is whether the pension should be set up like this in the first place. It was intended as a stable source of income for retired people, not to boost the income for people who are still working."
Naperville officials did something similar when Assistant City Manager Bob Marshall was tapped to become the police chief there. Marshall was a longtime police officer and administrator before moving over in 2005 to city hall, where he began collecting his police pension and contributing toward an IMRF pension. Under his current deal, Marshall is allowed to continue collecting his police pension and contributing toward the municipal employee pension while he earns $151,000 a year as police chief.
If Marshall stays on as police chief for more than 10 years, he is allowed to move his retirement contributions to IMRF's more lucrative Sheriff's Law Enforcement Pension Program. Ten years under SLEP would pay 25 percent of Marshall's average final salary in retirement, as opposed to a traditional IMRF pension that would pay about 16.7 percent of the average final salary.
Also, Lake in the Hills and Schaumburg have made similar deals with longtime police chiefs over the years.