WOODBURY - The new Suffolk County police commissioner is catching heat for "double-dipping" by collecting a pension from his prior job on top of his new commissioner salary. Commissioner Edward Webber will take in a combined $321,000 a year, according to a Newsday report. Webber was appointed commissioner last month. On Friday, he filed paperwork to retroactively retire as the police department's chief of support services.Webber is also eligible for $306,000 in unused vacation and sick time, which he says he won't collect until he leaves his commissioner post.
County Executive Steve Bellone (D-Suffolk) convened a news conference this afternoon to defend Webber's pay. He says Webber has served the department for 40 years, has extensive budget experience and has reduced police overtime by millions of dollars. Bellone says hiring Webber actually saves taxpayers $50,000 per year. At the news conference, the executive said he was "disgusted" with the story's portrayal in the media and he called on Newsday to "stop bashing cops."