W-B Employee Needed To Work One More Day To Get Second Pension
WILKES-BARRE — One more day.
That’s all Jim Hayward needed to work at Wilkes-Barre City Hall in order to collect a second city pension — this one for his nearly eight years of service as deputy administrator, director of Community Development and city administrator, and his most recent five months of work as a health educator.
Hayward, 66, had worked in city hall for seven years, 11 months and 30 days in the administrative posts before being terminated when Tom Leighton took office in 2004 after winning the mayor’s seat from Tom McGroarty in the previous year’s general election, according to pension information The Citizens’ Voice requested in August.
In addition to his annual disability pension of $10,015 for his 13 years of service as a city firefighter prior to his administrative posts, Hayward will also receive a regular annual pension of $18,390.53, according to the calculations.
Attempts to reach Hayward for comment were unsuccessful.
Hayward worked the final day he needed for his pension to be vested on March 26 — his first day on the job as a health educator, a position Mayor Tony George created after the city received a grant to fund the post. Although the grant would pay Hayward’s $26,390 salary for two years, Hayward gave notice of his intent to retire Aug. 31 a couple weeks prior to that.
But rather than basing his pension on his educator salary, the city pension ordinance requires that it be based on the average of the highest salary he received in any five full years of service. Those five years were between 1999 and 2003, when his salary gradually increased from $49,182 to $73,119.
The calculations also show that Hayward’s four years of military service counted toward the 12 years of service necessary for his pension to vest. The city’s pension ordinance allows up to five years of military service to count toward the minimum vesting period.
George said in August he was shocked when Hayward submitted his intent to retire, given that Hayward had come to him “maybe a dozen times looking for a job,” and had told him that he needed money for his child’s tuition at a private high school and for classes he needed to get back his law license.
Hayward practiced law in Pennsylvania from 2004 until his license was suspended twice in 2011 for a total of five years, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
As of Wednesday, the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania still listed the status Hayward’s law license as suspended. The phone number listed in the results of an online search for his law practice in Wilkes-Barre was disconnected.
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PENSIONS FOR POLITICOS
With his retirement last month, Jim Hayward joins the ranks of other retired city politicos and employees who collect pensions based on their time in office as an elected official or as a political appointment to a top administrative post.
Those elected officials include former mayors and controllers, as well as council members, who are considered full-time employees by the city. All are required to contribute part of their salaries to the pension fund. Those who don’t work the minimum 12 years have their contributions returned upon the end of their employment.
Those retirees or their beneficiaries who receive pensions include:
n Lucy Boris, widow of Al Boris, who served more than 20 years on council, $4,375.
n William G. Brace, retired as city administrator after 31 years with the city, $45,330. n Laura Brace, Williams’s wife, retired as deputy controller in 2006, $33,219. n James D. Hayward, served as deputy administrator, director of Community Development, administrator over nearly eight years, then five months as a health educator, $18,391.
n Kathryn Kane, 12 years on council and four years as controller, $17,203. n Philip Latinski, 16 years on council, $4,135. n Thomas Leighton, 12 years on council and 12 years as mayor, $40,421. n Michael J. McGinley, 12 years on council, $3,558. n Bernard Mengeringhausen, eight years on council and eight years as controller, $15,622. n Juanita Namey, widow of Lee Namey, who served 12 years on council and eight years as mayor, $26,913. n Anthony Thomas, 12 years on council, $4,066.