OAKLAND -- Attorneys for Oakland are asking a federal judge to deny his hand-picked overseer of the city's police department fringe benefits that would catapult the official's total compensation to well above $300,000.
The city filed its request with U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson after missing a court-imposed deadline Monday to agree to terms with former Baltimore Police Commissioner Thomas Frazier.
The major sticking points, according to the city, are that Frazier wants the cash equivalents of sick leave, vacation and city pension contributions. The city also wants Frazier to put the agreement in writing, which Frazier so far has refused to do, according to the filing.
Henderson appointed Frazier, 68, to the powerful post of compliance director earlier this month, giving the law enforcement veteran unprecedented authority to make police finally complete court-mandated reforms stemming from the 1999 Riders police brutality scandal.
The judge also ordered the city to pay Frazier a base salary of $270,000 and benefits similar to those of top city officials such as the police chief and city administrator.
The city and Frazier have agreed on most points. Frazier will work out of a city-leased office at 1970 Broadway and receive approximately $8,000 in medical coverage and $10,000 for executive leave that can be converted to cash.
The key disagreement is over retirement benefits. The city currently pays an additional 25 percent on top of salaries for nonpublic safety employees to fund their pensions. For Frazier that would mean an additional $67,500 -- a benefit Frazier is seeking, according to the city's filing.
"Our position is that it's not appropriate," Assistant City Administrator Scott Johnson said on Tuesday. The city's stance stems from the fact that employees are not entitled to cash out city pension contributions when they leave their jobs.
Frazier's representative in the negotiations, Ronald Yank, the former director of the state Department of Personnel Administration, did not return phone calls Tuesday.
The city held that the more appropriate rate to calculate retirement benefits would be the 3.75 percent that it gives part-time workers. That would amount to an additional $10,125 per year for Frazier.
Frazier also requested $15,576 for 15 days of vacation and $6,260 per year of sick leave, half of which he could cash out, according to the city's filing. The city holds that Frazier's position already comes with unlimited vacation and sick leave and that city employees can't begin cashing out sick days until they have accrued 450 hours of sick time.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.