More double-dipping in Miramar

Published On: Mar 21 2013 08:41:09 AM EDT

Local 10 finds several Miramar city officials who retired and began earning large pensions, only to be rehired by the city at bigger rates.

Melvin Standley was Miramar Police Chief when he retired in 2009 and began collecting a $70,000 pension. Then he was immediately rehired by the city as "public safety director" on the taxpayers' dime at a $182,000 salary. 

The salary alone exceeds that of the sheriff of Broward County and his combined total of $250,000 puts Standley well over that of city managers in many much larger cities.

It's called double-dipping and Standley is one of a trio of top administrators for just-resigned Miramar city manager Robert Payton who engaged in the practice. Assistant City Manager Vernon Hargray, for instance, receives a $97,000 pension from the city after retiring only to be rehired at a $183,000 salary, bringing his total to $280,000. Emergency Management Director Joe Cabrera was rehired with a $153,000 salary, but his pension amount hasn't yet been released by the city.

Why does the city do it? Officials said Wednesday the practice was mean to save the city money. City spokesman Gus Zambrano said the trio wasn't receiving benefits after their "retirements." But I obtained documents showing that both Standley and Hargray were both receiving health benefits from the city worth tens of thousands of dollars a year as well. 

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