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Oulette tops 2022 salary list

Norwalk Police Officer Russell Oullette oversees an October meeting in the Council chambers, as Jason Milligan, foreground, takes a photo.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Police patrol officer Russell Ouellette earned twice what Chief Thomas Kulhawik did in 2022. He also out earned Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella.

The 2022 City paycheck list, obtained by NancyOnNorwalk through a Freedom of Information Act request, also shows that Lynne Moore made more as a school principal than Deputy Superintendent of Excellence, Equity, and Inclusion Thomas McBryde Jr.

The top 25 breadwinners:

  1. Norwalk Police Officer Russell Ouellette, $328,250
  2. Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella, $322,721
  3. Norwalk Police Officer George Daley, $288,528
  4. Norwalk Police Lt. Thomas Mattera, $287,147
  5. Norwalk Police Lt. William Lowe, $285,604
  6. Norwalk Police Officer Mark Suda, $274,813
  7. Norwalk Police Officer David Nieves, $260,189
  8. Norwalk Police Lt. Paul Resnick, $259,560
  9. Norwalk Police Officer Javier Mogollon, $257,532
  10. Norwalk Police Sgt. Richard Delallo, $244,409
  11. Norwalk High School Principal Lynne Moore $242,035
  12. Norwalk Police Officer Christopher Kassimis, $238,646
  13. Norwalk Police Sgt. Joseph Moquin, $232,967
  14. Norwalk Police Sgt. Peter White, $232,941
  15. Norwalk Police Lt. Marc Lepore, $232,857
  16. Deputy Superintendent of Excellence, Equity, and Inclusion Thomas McBryde Jr. $230,983
  17. Norwalk Police Officer Hector Delgado, $230,271
  18. Norwalk Police Detective Courtney Downer, $230,183
  19. Norwalk Police Sgt. Angelo Calise, $227,649
  20. Norwalk Police Officer Richard Montanez $222,418
  21. Norwalk Police Officer Shoubert Paulemon, $220,311
  22. Norwalk Police Lt. Terrance Blake, $219,551
  23. Norwalk Police Officer Ariel Martinez, $217,798
  24. Assistant Superintendent of Digital Learning and Innovation Ralph Valenzisi, $215,986
  25. Assistant Superintendent of Schools Rob Pennington $215,986

 

Moore sued Norwalk Public Schools in 2021, accusing the district of racial discrimination, age discrimination and retaliation. NPS settled the lawsuit last year.

She was paid a total $47,514 as reimbursement for salary she lost due to the alleged mistreatment.

Norwalk Police officers earn money above their base salaries by taking extra duty assignments for private companies and by putting in overtime for the city. The city gets a 15% administrative fee for every hour of extra duty worked by police officers, City staff has said. Overtime actually saves the city money as the price of benefits is high and there is a need to cover emergencies, according to former Common Council members. Overtime doesn’t count toward an officer’s pension and is often paid for by federal funds, asset forfeiture funds or state funds, officials have said.

The Police Department has been shorthanded. With 181 officers authorized, the department was said to be down to 166 sworn officers in November 2021. Norwalk Police Deputy Chief Terry Blake said Monday that the department has 177 officers.

Most officers named above routinely land on the list of top earners. Of the 20 officers listed, nine made more than last year. Oulette made $288,649 in 2021 and $328,250 in 2022.

Estrella made $301,475 leading Norwalk Public Schools in 2021 and $322,721 last year.

Let’s look at the top earning education staff:

  1. Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella, $322,721
  2. Norwalk High School Principal Lynne Moore $242,035
  3. Deputy Superintendent of Excellence, Equity, and Inclusion Thomas McBryde Jr. $230,983
  4. Assistant Superintendent of Digital Learning and Innovation Ralph Valenzisi, $215,986
  5. Assistant Superintendent of Schools Rob Pennington, $215,986
  6. Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Sandra Faioes, $215,986
  7. Chief Financial Officer Lunda Asmani, $215,986
  8. Executive Director of Leadership Development Mary-Anne Sheppard, $206,009
  9. Educational Administrator for Pathways and Innovation Reginald Roberts, $205,761
  10. Executive Director of Leadership Development Sandra Kase, $205,108
  11. Center for Global Studies Director Julie Parham, $202,289
  12. Brien McMahon High School Principal Barbara Wood, $200,668
  13. Brien McMahon High School Assistant Principal Marie Allen, $192,638
  14. West Rocks Middle School Principal Adam Reynolds, $191,201
  15. Ponus Ridge Middle School Principal Damon Lewis, $191,171
  16. Nathan Hale Middle School Principal Eric Jackson, $190,852
  17. Education Administrator for Counseling & Social Services, Homebound Instruction, and 504’s James Martinez, $190,451
  18. Columbus Magnet School Principal Medard Thomas, $190,451
  19. Educational Administrator for School Quality Heidi Pierovich, $189,701
  20. Educational Administrator for Early Childhood Amaris Melendez, $189,701
  21. Educational Administrator for Curriculum and Professional Development Stacey Bergin, $189,701
  22. Cranbury Elementary School Principal Jennifer Masone, $186,623
  23. Educational Administrator for MLL and WL Frances Saez, $186,327
  24. Marvin Elementary School Principal Sue-Ellen O’Shea, $185,845
  25. Educational Administrator for SRBI Deborah Perry, $185,335

Reminder: NancyOnNorwalk requires full names from commenters. For more information, go here.

2022 FOI_Salary

8 comments

John O'Neill January 24, 2023 at 9:37 am

While these numbers are incredibly high, I would like to discuss results:
Police — Norwalk seems to be doing just fine handling crime. Cops get a
grade of “A” and have earned their money
School Administrators — Statistically they have failed their students and
AND teachers who work in the district. If you cut their salaries in
half they’d still be overpaid. They grade out as an “F+”

Bryan Meek January 24, 2023 at 10:27 am

This invasion of privacy makes my skin crawl. Outside of department heads, rank and file should not be put under this microscope. And not breaking out public safety officer’s base salary is more than “disingenuous”.

David Muccigrosso January 24, 2023 at 1:29 pm

@Bryan, when does the overtime become “too much to believe”, though? We’ve all run the numbers here before, and they just don’t add up. Officers would have to be doing inhuman amounts of overtime to make those numbers.

And inhuman amounts of overtime are a safety risk. Anyone who does safety engineering knows, companies that don’t think they have any safety problems, are the most likely to HAVE safety problems.

If you can show us evidence that contradicts that, then great! But I’m disappointed that the usual voice of fiscal conservatism here is falling back on a lame privacy complaint when it’s simply quite obvious that the numbers are facially fishy.

John Levin January 24, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Wow. I’m guessing NPD won’t have much difficulty recruiting officers.

NancyOnNorwalk has reported this data annually for 10 years now. In years past these reports have garnered significant commentary, like one year ago: https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/estrellas-301k-salary-tops-city-hall-2021-list/ .

Norwalk government could improve transparency if it would disclose the amount of hours billed, because it’s difficult to understand how a Norwalk police officer might be able to physically earn some of the higher numbers reported here. Repeating and hopefully improving the math exercise I did two years ago (https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/npd-officer-ouellette-tops-list-of-norwalk-earners-for-2020/): Top compensation for a senior patrol officer during 2022 according to the current police contract was $87,453. Assuming the highest earning officer was in this pay category, it implies he earned $240,797 during the year through some combination of over time work and extra duty assignments, and perhaps some other undisclosed compensation method (such as getting paid for not using up to two weeks vacation time, time and a half on City holidays and double time on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, up to 8% premium pay for working less desirable shifts, “Longevity” pay, and so on). Adjusting the $240,797 down to $230,000 to take out other compensation item, and using the current contract extra duty rate of $69.87 per hour, implies over 63 hours per week of overtime/extra duty. Adding these hours to the base 40 hour week, one gets to 103 hours paid per week, every week, for 52 weeks. Is this what is happening? I made this inquiry two years ago with then NPD Chief Kulhawik, and he answered that an officer may be assigned an extra duty assignment which is subsequently cancelled or terminated early, and the officer who signed up for it will receive a minimum 4 hours of extra duty pay even if he works zero hours of it. Okay. But still – it seems reasonable to ask what is going on here? What kind of time card goes with a police officer earning, legally of course, over $250,000 per year, as eight of Norwalk’s officers did last year? More disclosure, please.

Last: Norwalk likely will get to vote on Charter Revision in November. Currently, Norwalk’s Police Commission is limited to three members: a chairman who must be the mayor, and two other commissioners appointed by the mayor. I think we probably can do better than this, and have two changes I believe will improve this arrangement: 1) expand the Police Commission to five members, with two appointed by majority vote of the Council, and 2) allow the mayor to recuse him/herself from serving on the Police Commission if they believe there may be a conflict of interest. I intend to submit these recommendations to the Charter Revision Commission website, if I can find it.

Tysen Canevari January 24, 2023 at 1:56 pm

I think Russ is in the drop pension plan as well so it is not an accurate reflection of his earnings. Anyone is welcome to take the test if they want to complain. One of the reasons I live in Norwalk is police, fire, and hospital at your back door. When you need them you will thank god they are there. Those income numbers reflect a ton of hours away from family as well. Now, Estrella making $322,000 as the super is a crime!

EDUARDO SANCHEZ January 24, 2023 at 3:11 pm

Invasion of privacy? WE pay these salaries, WE deserve to know who makes what. If the city just published the officers base salaries, that would be disingenuous. We all know these aren’t their base salaries. As far as worth it? NOPE. Not at that price.

Drew Todd January 25, 2023 at 9:04 am

No one needs to know how much individuals lower than Chief or Superintendent is making! It’s absolutely NONE of anyone else’s business but that person and their families! it shouldn’t be printed. How about Nancy you post your salary and all the salaries of your Board Members that won’t answer questions when asked. Let’s try that!

Johnny cardamone January 26, 2023 at 9:22 am

Wow, at least we know where our tax dollars are going I think!? I believe in privacy too but we need to get some spending under control. God bless our police and our teachers now I wish I became one!

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