NJ lawmaker's reported 6-figure payout is part of longstanding 'boat check' tradition
Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Sacco has long been criticized for being a so-called “triple-dipper” for holding three public jobs as state senator and North Bergen’s mayor and school superintendent.
More criticism has been lobbed his way after NJ.com reported that Sacco received a $270,000 payout for unused sick time that amassed over the years when he finally retired as the superintendent, as well as a $220,000 pension check.
The payout is often referred to as a “boat check” because the payout when many public officials finally retire are often large enough to purchase a boat. News 12's Brian Donohue went boat browsing to see what type of crafts Sacco's payout could land.
Legislators passed a law 2010 that capped these payouts at $15,000 for new employees but preserved their own payouts and allowed them to continue. And quite a few retiring police and fire brass and other public officials have continued to cash in.
Some towns such as Red Bank often have to borrow money to make these payments.
The North Bergen superintendent of schools said the sick time payments were all required under Sacco’s contract and that he has been treated exactly the same as any other similarly tenured school administrator or teacher would be.
A 2017 analysis found local governments and school districts are on the hook for $1.1 billion in sick time payouts for future retirees.