Well the paperwork is in, and according to NJ.com, the final amount has been tabulated and the former chief of police of Newark will receive...drumroll please......$453,000.00 for not getting sick!

Yay! I hardly took any sick time from my job here in 24 years. Do you know what I'll get for that when I'm done? Cazzo! In other words, nothing. Which is what you should get for the good fortune of not being sick.

But in public employment in New Jersey, especially in law enforcement, you get what is called a "boat check". At least that's what it used to be called. Now it should be called a "mansion in a reasonably run state" check. New Jersey is one of the few states, if any left, that offer big payouts when you retire, for not using sick time or comp time.

At one time, it may have made sense when public service government jobs lagged behind salary and benefits of private sector work. That trend ended twenty years ago when it became far more lucrative to go into the public sector in areas like education and law enforcement. That does not bode well for any economy. Anyone can figure that out.

Now I'm sure Newark's former police chief Anthony Campos was an honorable, hardworking, public servant who put his life on the line, more than once, working in Newark for 30 years. And for that, he is given a very healthy pension and retirement at the age of 51. He could have another 20 years of work ahead of him and might even join the ranks of many others before him that take another public job. Or he may go into private sector security work, since his excellent benefits are already taken care of for life. Mr. Campos deserves the pension and benefits, because it was promised to him.

May he live a long and healthy life. Also, Mr. Campos should not be blamed for the huge "boat check" he's getting because that's how the system works (or doesn't work.) Concerned taxpayers have been screaming for years to end this unsustainable, wasteful practice of sick time payouts and a complete overhaul of the pension system, moving forward.

Other states that have done away with this nonsense 20 years ago are still on the hook for millions, but at least they had the smarts and the guts to do it years ago. We are heading for a financial cliff in this state and the end is not gonna be pretty, for anybody. Some legislators won't even consider fixing this outrage even though it's years overdue, because they're bought off by powerful public unions, and because they're cowards. They're worse than cowards.

They're complicit in this continued thievery from the New Jersey taxpayers. Every month there is another story of a handful of these exorbitant payouts, and no one in the legislature does anything of consequence to end it.

And guess what? With Phil Murphy coming to the state house soon, you can bet $453,000.00 and then some, nothing will be done to end it anytime soon.

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Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.

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