SAN PABLO -- Former police chief Walt Schuld barely had a chance to settle into retirement before he was asked back to work.

"My wife would prefer I stay around the house, but she knows it's just temporary," said Schuld, 52, who retired in May after 31 years with the San Pablo Police Department.

Schuld resumed work last week as the city's interim assistant city manager. He replaces Kelsey Worthy, who retired for personal reasons, and will work up to 960 hours over the next six months, said City Manager Matt Rodriguez.

As assistant city manager, Schuld will oversee all the city's department heads while the city looks for a permanent replacement, Rodriguez said.

As a retired police employee, Schuld receives 90 percent of his final base salary of $202,968, or $182,671, for life from the PERS retirement system.

In his new temporary job, he'll earn $97.58 per hour, or up to $93,677 for six months of work.

Retired public employees who bolster their pension income by coming back to work for public agencies are commonly called "double dippers," but Rodriguez said that in this instance, it makes economic sense for the taxpayers. Schuld will not receive any of the typical benefits -- vacation time, medical coverage or car allowances -- that come with the job.

"The cost of filling this position is typically more than $280,000 annually, so we're saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars," Rodriguez said.


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The City Council unanimously approved Schuld's new contract on July 7.

Schuld said he wasn't surprised he was asked to come back, because he had heard of Worthy's retirement.

"The city needed some help, so I am happy to step in," Schuld said.

Rodriguez said only one other retired city employee, former Finance Director Bradley Ward, is currently employed by the city.

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726. Follow him at Twitter.com/sfbaynewsrogers.