OAKLAND -- The court-appointed official overseeing Oakland's police reforms will make $337,000 a year after resolving a five-month compensation dispute with city leaders.
Oakland officials relented on the key demand from former Baltimore Police Commissioner Thomas Frazier -- that he receive the cash equivalent of pension contributions given to full-time city workers.
Frazier will be Oakland's second-highest-paid civilian administrator this year, trailing only City Administrator Deanna Santana.
Assistant City Administrator Scott Johnson said the city was satisfied with the settlement approved Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson, even though Oakland gave in on the pension issue.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us when it comes to police services, and we want to focus on that instead of compensation," Johnson said.
Frazier's representative, Ronald Yank, could not be reached Monday.
Henderson appointed Frazier to the powerful post of compliance director in March. The job gives the law enforcement veteran unprecedented authority to make police carry out court-mandated reforms stemming from the 1999 Riders police brutality scandal.
Police were supposed to have enacted the reforms five years ago. City officials now hope that the reforms -- and consequently Frazier's tenure -- will be completed next year.
The reform effort will cost Oakland far more than Frazier's salary. Frazier, who has a small staff paid at taxpayer expense, recently ordered the city to spend about $2 million for police training and equipment upgrades.
The dispute over Frazier's compensation stemmed from Henderson's order that Frazier receive a base salary of $270,000 and the cash equivalent of benefits similar to those of top city officials. Monday's agreement calls for Frazier, who already receives a pension from his long tenure with the San Jose Police Department, to receive $67,000 in benefits -- the biggest piece of which is money in lieu of a pension contribution.
In court papers filed earlier this year, City Attorney Barbara Parker said it was "not appropriate" for Frazier to receive the cash equivalent of pension benefits because he is not a full-time city employee, and city workers can't cash out retirement benefits while they're working.
Parker had held that Frazier should receive the cash equivalent of retirement benefits given to part-time workers, which would have amounted to just over $10,000.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435