NJ “Public Servant” Lands Sixth Government Job, Total Salary Approaching $300,000

photo of "public servant" not availableNJ 101.5 FMThe city of Highlands, New Jersey hired Patrick DeBlasio to be its chief financial officer, a part time job for which he’ll have no minimum hours and won’t have to show up at the office, paying him $40,000 a year. It's no mere double dip for DeBlasio, it's actually his sixth government job. He was paid $244,606 last year, nearly $70,000 more than the state’s governor. He holds five other jobs in four municipalities, including full time work as CFO of Carteret, NJ, as well as a part time job with the town’s school district.

N.J. public servant gets 6th public job, among highest-paid in the state,” read the Star-Ledger’s headline, yet stories like this punctuate what a joke the term “public servant” is and why it belonges in quotes. For people like DeBlasio, it seems a lot more like a well-paying racket than anything approaching “service.”

Related: Moody's downgraded NJ's debt outlook to negative over concerns about its ballooning government pensions obligations. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Lord Humungus||

    He was paid $244,606 last year, nearly $70,000 more than the state’s government

    governor?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Also, it's Carteret, not Cartaret.

  • Ed||

    Anything else?

  • GILMORE||

    uh, its pronounced "Shithole New Jersey"

  • CE||

    As Babe Ruth used to say when asked why he was paid more than the president: "I had a better year."

  • Hugh Akston||

    This tireless hero obviously deserves some kind of award for his unwavering service to the people of New Jersey.

  • Mike M.||

    Name a rest stop after him like they do for everyone else.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The Patrick DeBlasio Memorial Glory Hole

  • GILMORE||

    +1 Clara Barton

  • John||

    And one Molly Pitcher, whoever she was.

  • tarran||

    LEAVE MOLLY PITCHER ALONE!

    A woman whose husband belonged to the artillery and who was then attached to a piece in the engagement, attended with her husband at the piece the whole time. While in the act of reaching a cartridge and having one of her feet as far before the other as she could step, a cannon shot from the enemey passed directly between her legs without doing any other damage than carrying away all the lower part of her petticoat. Looking at it with apparent unconcern, she observed that it was lucky it did not pass a little higher, for in that case it might have carried away something else, and continued her occupation.
  • GILMORE||

    +1 Vince Lombardi Cinnabon

  • John||

    She was awesome.

  • R C Dean||

    for in that case it might have carried away something else,

    I think it would have taken more than some effete British cannonball to do any damage to her massive cojones.

  • CE||

    Don't blame the guy picking up the loose cash (in either bogus jobs or lavish benefits.) Blame the legislature or the county commission or town council that throws the taxpayer loot around so carelessly.

  • Almanian!||

    I blame both.

    I mean - I blame Bush!

  • R C Dean||

    Don't blame the guy picking up the loose cash

    No, blame him. Good and hard. Might as well say "Don't blame the guy who robbed the 7-11. Blame the clerk for not having a gun."

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Agreed - getting paid for work you are not doing is stealing.

    Not that this idiot should be a pariah and made an example out of necessarily as I'm sure many people get paid for work they don't really do - but without question the blame lies both with the employer for not having controls in place to stop this and the employee for exploiting the lack of controls.

    & in this case - since his employer is the state - he is effectively directly stealing for all NJ citizens.

    He not only deserves blame, but some liberal media person somewhere should ask him, "Why did you feel that money was better in your pocket than say helping education or healthcare for the poor?"

    After all - how many times do they ask "What if we took all defense money and spent it on X instead? Wouldn't that be a wonderful place to live?"

  • Copernicus||

    Is it possible that this guy is some kind of John Galt super genius who can do 40 hours of work in just one hour? If so, I don't think we should be mocking him. What if he shrugs?

  • John||

    Related: Moody's downgraded NJ's debt outlook to negative over concerns about its ballooning government pensions obligations.

    Hopefully the state will go belly up just in time to harpoon Fatso's Presidential campaign. It will be a bit hard to claim to be "the tough guy centrist who can get things done" while you are begging Obama for a bailout and trying to explain to a bankruptcy court why the state pensions should take precedence over the bond holders.

  • wareagle||

    the sad part here is that the focus on the corpulent catholic's aspirations will overshadow the near-pandemic nature of this pension problem. NJ is hardly the only feeling it.

    We know of the CA cities that have declared bankruptcy, the ones whose voters backed a referendum changing the system, and the statewide pension bomb. Multiply that several times and, as a bonus, add in the coming meltdown of SS that proggies assure me is not going to happen.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Jobs created or saved!

    Entrepreneurship!

  • some guy||

    NJ is approaching private sector efficiency.

  • Mokers||

    As Epi says, you can't even imagine how often this stuff goes on. The city manager of Bell, CA and this guy in NJ are not outliers.

    Happens all the time with first responders. Work 20 years for one municipality, retire with pension, work for municipality the next town over and retire with another pension. And this is for the people who actually like to work! There are so many jobs at city and county level that are basically no-show and others that are largely no-work. the best part is that they all think they are doing us a service.

  • John||

    State local governments are in some ways ever worse than the feds.

  • ||

    I guarantee you this is going on at all levels, from the village clerk to some useless but high-up position in one of the federal agencies. The system is easily exploited in this way, so of course it will have become rife with people who gravitated to it specifically to exploit it. Create the position, and you will get the worst possible people for it lining up to fill it. As Mokers references me saying, I guarantee you there is more of this than you can possibly imagine, and as anti-government people we can already imagine a metric fuckton. But it's worse. It's always worse.

  • John||

    It has gotten much worse at the federal level than it used to be. Bush basically filled the traditional political jobs and left it at that. Obama has taken patronage to a new league. Everyone I know that works for the Feds, and I know a lot, have noticed this. Instead of just having one or two politicals at the top of a department within an agency, Obama will put seven or eight politicals down in the agency who seem to have no purpose other than to collect a paycheck.

    It is the Chicago way all around now.

  • wareagle||

    Obama will put seven or eight politicals down in the agency who seem to have no purpose other than to collect a paycheck.

    stimulus. No shovel required.

  • R C Dean||

    Oddly, I still feel the need for a shovel.

  • VinnyG||

    That shite flows downhill to quite effectively inundate those at the bottom of the hill without requiring such an implement. All your personal shovel would do is to deepen the pit. BTW, when you think that you are finally the beneficiary of a rain storm washing it off, think about the term "peon"...

  • NoVAHockey||

    "Obama will put seven or eight politicals down "

    and yet, it's a mystery why this administration is one big cock up. politics aside. just the day-to-day stuff.

  • CE||

    Obama will put seven or eight politicals down in the agency who seem to have no purpose other than to collect a paycheck.

    Their purpose is to make the top appointee expendable, in case of scandal or if he or she gets too independent.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Their purpose is to make the top appointee expendable, in case of scandal or if he or she gets too independent.

    Their purpose is more likely to create a culture where certain ideas (those the current admin might oppose) are mocked to the point people don't even raise them.

    IE - I think they're doing this to remove any diversity of opinion which might have existed.

    Of course if needed, they'll burn any political appointee that would help them - but I don't think that's their primary reason for this - just an incidental side benefit.

  • wareagle||

    Is the system really "exploited" or is this how it is set up to operate? I used to live near a huge army post. The number of people retiring after 20 and immediately drawing a retirement check, then moving into a civilian govt job, was hard to ignore.

  • John||

    That is appalling. And that didn't used to happen. After 911 Bush declared an emergency and lifted the cap on total compensation retirees could get from the feds. Before, most retirees left government service because their compensation was capped. They would literally only get 30K of a 100K job because of their retirement.

    And that was a good thing. It kept people from double dipping and using their influence to create a job for themselves on active duty. Now they do that all of the time and then go on and hire their buddies once they are in.

    That "emergency" needs to be reascended and every one of the grey beards working their GS 15 jobs need to be told to go live on their retirement. Do that and combine it with a hiring freeze and you could eliminate a lot of fat with the stroke of a pen.

  • ||

    The system probably wasn't set up that way, but as soon as someone discovered that it was exploitable in this way, a bunch of people would have gotten in on it and then would resist changing it to not be exploitable to the ends of the earth.

  • John||

    No it wasn't set up that way. It didn't happen until post 911. Now, it will never change because so many people are getting rich collecting a retirement and a GS salary.

    And they also buy in the years of military service they have allowing them to get a GS retirement in ten or sometimes fewer years, thus collecting two retirements. It is insane.

  • sarcasmic||

    When my work first took me into the bowels of a federal building, I was confused at the odd way some of them would greet each other. One would show a number of fingers, and the other would show a different number of fingers. Later I learned that they were short-timers, flaunting the number of years they had left until they started collecting their pension.

  • wareagle||

    number of years till pension or number of total pensions?

  • Not an Economist||

    In my experience this happened before 911. I work with the military so maybe it is the area of government that was different.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Going from military to civilian certainly happened pre-911, but fed rules in place meant that going from retired military to a fed job didn't allow you to keep both your full pension and current salary (though you didn't have to forgo it - you just couldn't get the pension until you weren't working for the feds).

    So as John pointed out - these were rule changes under Bush that has made this issue infinitely worse than it once.

    Which is saying something since the status quo prior to Bush's change was pretty bad to begin with.

  • ||

    When I left ('91) there was a cooling off period if you were going to work for the same activity (base).

  • VinnyG||

    This phenomenon is a reflection of the gov employee/contractor/gov employee morphology gravy train that has been in full swing since at least as early as WWII (probably much earlier), and probably does as much or more economic damage (it is a huge part of the mechanism for maintaining a huge "defense" budget). I am personally aware of a gov contractor (low employee count, low overhead LLP that he founded) who "retired" from his CEO position and got hired by the agency for whom he contracted, where he presently shills and coerces for lavish expenditures to enhance the stock value of his "former employer" and, hence, his pension from there. NTM drawing GS-15+ (SL & ST) pay & bennies at his new "job".

  • some guy||

    The prevalence of corruption grows exponentially as the size of the government shrinks. But the number of people who care also shrinks.

  • CE||

    When has the size of the government ever done anything even close to shrinking?

  • some guy||

    I meant looking across different types of goverment. So as you go from Federal to state to local the corruption grows. Clearly all three levels are increasing in size year over year.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    That's not really size though - I think it's more corruption is more rampant when those you seek to "corrupt" have more direct control over your business/life/etc.

    Feds have a lot of power, too much, but it's normally not wielded to specifically harm certain people - instead of screwing a few, it screws a million.

    However, when the local government can prevent you from opening a business - you desire to affect their opinion is much greater than your desire to affect the fed's opinion.

    As has always been the case I think - the more control government has over any sector in society - the m ore likely those sectors will rent seek.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Anything else?

    I'd like a cookie.

  • Sudden||

    Too late for voting, too early to start shooting.

  • The Original Jason||

    So… protests in the street?

  • ||

    DeBlasio....where have I heard that name before?

  • sarcasmic||

    My work takes me into the bowels of a federal building, and it's not unusual to see people shamelessly sleeping at their desks.

  • John||

    The only thing that would get those people fired would be trying to conscientiously do their jobs. Trust me, they are doing that because that is what their bosses want. The last thing their managers want is anyone trying to do their job or improve anything. All that would do is cause problems or worse make the manager look bad for not thinking of it first. And no one wants that. All they want is butts in seats so they can tell their bosses how important they are.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some of them are more productive that way, I'm sure.

  • sarcasmic||

    Their productivity is measured in how much productivity they prevent. So yes, we're better off if they're asleep at their desks, because they're not actively preventing people in the private sector from being productive.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I had a co-worker who read the paper. after a day where she actually worked, it was better when she read the paper.

  • some guy||

    Indeed. Some people really do produce only distractions. If you can't terminate them then you might as well tolerate and even encourage them to do nothing.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This is New Jersey?

    If he gets paid six times, I wonder how many times he gets to vote?

  • VinnyG||

    This is New Jersey. It's not how many times he votes, it's how many times his vote is counted...

  • Lady Bertrum||

    I'm going to follow the link through but my guess is the worst part is the pension obligations. Most double-dippers in Jersey get pensions from each job, possibly with health benefits.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You mean he gets six health benefits?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    The story doesn't provide any information, but it's quite possible that he'll qualify for multiple pensions and other add on benefits. Some state senators have 2 or 3 other public service jobs.

  • Agammamon||

    Could be - but usually that stuff is consolidated by level of government, ie state workers, county workers, city.

    But I bet he has one huge state *and* at least one county pension coming when he 'retires'.

  • PRX||

    the good news is we'll save on rope.

  • GILMORE||

    This is what they mean in New Jersey when you say, "I know a guy who knows a guy..."

    Dude is every town's shadiest accountant. Who would have guessed. I'm sure he's a fat scumbag too.

  • KDN||

    Patrick DeBlasio’s 2012 salaries (from USA Today):

    • $126,896, Carteret borough chief financial officer
    • $8,000, Carteret schools treasurer of school monies
    • $29,774, Highlands tax collector
    • $39,996, Keansburg chief financial officer
    • $39,940, North Plainfield chief financial officer

    Yeah, this doesn't really bother me. He's the CFO of 3 similar boroughs and one podunk 1 sq mi shore town and doing several jobs with a lot of overlap. Hell, by blocking other cronies from taking these jobs at an inflated rate (a full-time CFO would probably draw a similar salary to what he gets from Carteret), he's probably saving the taxpayers money.

    The only people who should be upset are the good (not really) citizens of Carteret, who are paying this guy 3x what N. Plainfield for the same job is despite being pretty much indistinguishable. So long as he's not sextuple dipping on the pensions (though I bet he is), I don't have a problem with it.

  • Agammamon||

    I think much the same - think of him more as a private contractor taking on multiple clients, each one a less than full-time job.

    I doubt if he's double dipping but I expect that he's inflating his salary as much as possible for pension benefits.

  • thorax232||

    6 Premium Grade Welfare Checks

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement