Ex-NJ Transit Cop Caught Shooting Gun Even Though He’s on Disability Pension for Not Being Able to Hold One [POLL]
You’re gonna love this.
An ex-NJ Transit cop who’s out on a disability pension for not being able to hold his gun due to having accidentally driven a staple into his finger was recently caught at a firing range – shooting a rifle.
And for this, he gets the princely sum of just over 46 grand a year – tax free.
Begs the question – why is this guy still collecting an accidental disability pension; and why isn’t he back at work – if not at a job requiring him to fire a weapon, then at least at a desk job where he could still be useful and not wasting precious funds?
A former New Jersey Transit police officer was able to retire with a full pension because doctors said he couldn't hold a gun after the officer inadvertently stapled his finger.
Yet Christopher Onesti still makes leisurely trips to a local shooting range, where he has no trouble discharging a high-powered weapon. That's what an investigation by New Jersey Watchdog uncovered.
Onesti, who lives in suburban Philadelphia, doesn't just get an "ordinary disability" pension — instead he receives a better-paying "accidental disability" pension that public records indicate pays him $45,936.24 a year tax-free.
It's estimated Onesti will be paid about $2 million from the pension fund if he lives until 80, the report said.
He was injured in 2006 when he mishandled a staple gun while re-attaching a target knocked over by the wind at a shooting range in Stafford. Then 27, Onesti received a wound the "size of a pinprick," according to the New Jersey Watchdog report.
Onesti still managed to pass his qualifying test that day after applying a Band-Aid to the ring finger on his non-shooting hand.
"There's no way you're totally and permanently disabled from a staple in the finger," John Sierchio, a Police and Firemen's Retirement System trustee told New Jersey Watchdog.
When contacted by New Jersey Watchdog and WNBC-4, Onesti admitted that "it's ridiculous" and "absurd" that he was ruled permanently disabled and is able to collect a full pension.
So this jewel admits that it’s ridiculous and absurd that he was ruled permanently disabled, yet lives off the pension anyway sans any pang of conscience.
I could remember a time when I worked for the Social Security Administration as a claims rep right out of college.
Folks who were seriously injured on the job or otherwise not able to do even the most menial of tasks were denied benefits because some doctor up the bureaucratic chain determined that because of their supposed educational level, they’d be able to do "light office work."
Now here you have a guy who clearly could do some light office work or some such clerical position – and the pension board still sees fit to honor his “disability”.
And then you wonder why the pension system will never be fixed.
Should the ex-NJ Transit cop collecting a disability pension be made to return to work?