Three high-earning Town of Oyster Bay officials who took retirement buyouts and are receiving pensions in the neighborhood of $100,000 are once again on the town payroll, officials said.
A Town spokeswoman confirmed that James Byrne, who returned as Parks Commissioner, Richard Betz, who will return as Commissioner of the Department of Public Works, and Public Information Officer James Moriarity are all back on the payroll and are being paid up to $30,000 in total hourly wages.
Under state law, the three may still receive their annual pensions if they make $30,000 or less.
Byrne, Betz and Moriarty's annual pensions are $107,340, $97,387 and $99,188, Newsday [paid site] reported.
Although Jay Jacobs, the Nasau County Democratic chamber blasted the rehirings, Deputy Town Supervisor Len Genova, who also serves as Town attorney, argued it will save taxpayer money.
Prior to their retirement Byrne, Betz and Moriarty earned salaries of $150,125, $136,303 and $142,211, according to town officials. Even adding the full $30,000 to the rehired employees' pensions will cost less than if they remained on the job, Genova said.
"The rules allow this," Genova, said. "That's what people need to remember."
Genova said that between retirement incentives that were offered in 2010 and the more than 90 employees who accepted a retirement package in 2012, the Town has lost almost 20 percent of their workforce, many of whom are were longtime workers.
He said that one of the thoughts behind rehiring employees is their years on the job.
"Between them, they have about 120 combined years of experience," Genova said, adding that the employees will help "mentor" younger employees.
But Genova said there no limit has been set as to how long the employees will remain on the Town payroll.