The state Comptroller’s Office has hired former state Democratic chairwoman June O’Neill to a part-time $65,000 a-year job, allowing her to collect both her salary and her roughly $63,000 pension.
O’Neill, a longtime Democratic political leader and the state chairwoman from 2007 through 2009, will serve as a liaison between the comptroller’s office and local governments to help them with reporting into the state pension system.
“June’s considerable experience working with local governments and her knowledge of local issues make her an asset to the comptroller’s office and eminently qualified for the position,” said Emily DeSantis, a spokeswoman for the comptroller’s office. “June has an excellent rapport with the local officials across the state that she will be working with in her new role.”
O’Neill, of Morley, St. Lawrence County, has had several jobs in state government, records show, including working at the state Department of State under Gov. Mario Cuomo from 1983 through 1987, the office of Rural affairs from 1987 through 1995 and in the comptroller’s office under Democratic Comptroller Carl McCall from 1995 through 2001.
For that, she’s earned the roughly $63,000 pension, which she started collecting in 2001. The state bans retired employees from coming back into the public sector and earning more than $30,000 in salary, unless they receive a waiver. But since O’Neill is older than 65, she can legally exceed the limit.
She joins an exclusive group: Gannett’s Albany Bureau in January found that more than 2,100 state workers were collecting salaries and pensions last year.
In fact, the Comptroller’s Office, which oversees the state’s pension fund, had 50 double dippers on the payroll as of last last year, ranking them the seventh highest among state agencies, Gannett’s report found. Here’s the full list of double dippers from last year.
O’Neill, who stepped down from her political duties last month, could not immediately be reached for comment.