Moccia paid his own way to Obama’s inauguration; Rilling gets one pension

Norwalk residents attending the inauguration as part of this massive crowd included Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia and Norwalk Common Councilman David Watts. (Photo courtesy WhiteHouse.gov)

NORWALK, Conn. – Answers to questions from Nancy On Norwalk readers have been provided by Norwalk Finance Director Thomas Hamilton.

The possibility of former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling running for mayor prompted a question from a several readers: “Does that mean he’ll get a third pension from the city?”

Although several assert that Rilling already gets two pensions – “one for his time as a union cop, and one for his time as chief,” according to Tim T – Hamilton said Rilling only receives one pension from the city.

Other readers wanted to know how much the city paid for Mayor Richard Moccia to go to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. “Being mayor may be a tough job, but look at the perks,” Oldtimer said. “How much did it cost taxpayers for Moccia to stay a couple of extra days in Washington so he could attend (President Barack Obama’s) inauguration?”

The city didn’t pay for Moccia to see the pomp and circumstance around Obama, Hamilton said. “The cost of the mayor’s attendance at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington totaled $2,411.43, including the registration, train transportation to Washington D.C., and hotel,” Hamilton said in an email. “The mayor reimbursed the city for the final two days of his stay in Washington, so the city did not pay for him to attend the Presidential Inauguration.”


16 responses to “Moccia paid his own way to Obama’s inauguration; Rilling gets one pension”

  1. Tim T

    Thank You for the follow up

  2. Oldtimer

    Did the mayor reimburse before or after the question was posed here ?

  3. Tim T

    Oldtimer good question//Also with you knowledge of the NPD pensions does this sound correct to you that Rilling would only be getting the one Pension?

  4. Tim T

    please see this link as it says different than the information that we were provided.

  5. Bruce Kimmel

    Rilling retired a number of years ago as police chief. Because the city was having trouble finding a suitable replacement, he was hired back but as a “consultant.” That meant he received the salary of a chief, but the city paid no additional pension or medical benefits — because he was already receiving them. Thus, the city saved money. The real issue was, would the city have been better off with a new pair of eyes and a new perspective in the chief’s position.

  6. David Watts

    FYI- the city did not fund any part of my trip!

    Speaking to the youth at city hall. Thanks to E1, the Mayor’s Office and NPD!


  7. BARIN

    Thanks folks for the information. The less rumors the better.

  8. Joe Espo

    Did Joe Mann take a trip to the 2008 inauguration on NEON’s dime? Just wonderin’

  9. Oldtimer

    Rilling’s pension was based on his years of service and his base pay when he retired. He was immediately appointed chief, as a non-union contract employee, with no pension benefits for the time he was chief. His contract as chief was renewed several times.

  10. Truant

    Suspect chief wasn’t paid as a consultant because would seem to violate IRS guidelines. Norwalk has approved deferred retirement plans/programs (DRP) for others besides police. Sometimes called “double dipping.” Retirees collect salary and pension while town saves on benefits & pension contribution as Bruce points out. Same thing happens when retired public safety folks retire from one town then go to work in another. FYI not allowed for CT teachers in state except short term assignments.

  11. Oldtimer

    The 2003 article you cited talks about the drop plan for officers that were ready to retire, but wanted to work a few more years. It sounds, in the press, like a great deal for the officers, and it is, but, the City wanted it because they crunched the numbers and figured it saved money. Rilling’s situation is different in that he fully retired and his pension benefit was set as of that day. When he became chief, he was a contract non-union employee and the contract did not include any pension. Whatever the single pension he is getting is the same he had earned the day he retired. To avoid the double dipping claim that you and others assumed, he did not collect any part of that pension while chief and the City set that money aside in an interest bearing account until he retired as chief. He should have gotten all that set aside pension when he retired as chief and regular pension payments since.

  12. Harry Rilling

    Tim T: Let me answer this question once and for all. In 2001, I had thirty years of service. My pension benefits maxed out and I was eligible to receive 75% of my salary at that time for my pension. That is the same that any other officer would have been eligible to receive after 30 years. The union contract in place also allowed me to collect approximately $45,000 in severance (again – what any other officer would have been eligible to receive). Instead of collecting the full $45,000, I gave a third back to the city. Moreover, I returned approximately 154 vacation days that I did not use over the years and in 30 years of service, only used 11 sick days. I accumulated 450 sick days during that time.

    My pension amount was frozen at my 2001 salary level and did not increase due to the fact I stayed on as a consultant. I can assure you, I receive ONE pension, nothing more. You yourself can ask for that information from Mr. Hamilton and I will be more than happy to have him send it to you. I hope this settles this matter in your mind. Please feel free to contact me personally if you need further proof.

  13. BARIN

    Well, thats that. Pretty much clears up those rumors. Thank you for your service to our community Harry, we could use more like you. Now, can we move on?

  14. Harold

    Sorry Harry but I just feel that you will be a continuation of the Moccia regime and I believe Norwalk needs to move on from it

  15. BARIN

    Well, if Harry does decide to toss his hat in the ring, he would probably let us know how a Rilling Administration would be differ from our current one, the same would apply to any other candidate for mayor. There is a catch, many politicians say what is necessary to win, once elected a memory lapse is a sure bet. Any candidate that is elected should simply do what they say, no backpeddling (nicer than saying lie). Simple? Not really, this is where the word “compromise” is carefully uttered by the elected backpeddler, and we fall for it every time. Darn, It certainly is hard to see through these rose colored glasses, I probably should take them off now. “There that’s better.”

  16. Diane C2

    LOL BARIN – I thought that was you behind those Foster Grants….

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