A village in the Hamptons will pay its outgoing police chief more than $774,000 for unused sick and vacation time after village officials voted to end his contract.
Southampton Village Police Chief Thomas Cummings' contract contained provisions that allowed for the large payout, Newsday reported on Wednesday.
The village board voted on July 20 to end his contract on Sept. 10 and approved the payout. The agreement calculates 686 unused days at $1,095 per day, plus almost $23,000 in retroactive per diem pay. The newspaper obtained the information through public records requests.
Cummings, 57, has been police chief in the village of the wealthy enclave since 2011, after joining the department in 1987. He had clashed with Mayor Jesse Warren, who won reelection in June, the newspaper reported. Warren criticized the contract that allowed the large payout in a statement Tuesday.
“Moving forward, our board will work to reduce long-term debt and liabilities as we diligently search for the next Chief of Police,” Warren said in a statement. “I wish Chief Cummings nothing but the best and thank him for his service.”
Cummings did not respond to a request for comment from the newspaper. He and his wife will also get medical and dental benefits without premiums for the rest of their lives, unless his wife were to remarry.
In April, the village board voted not to end Cummings' contract at the end of May. Since that vote, two village trustees were voted out of office. Had the board approved the termination in April, they would have saved the village almost $200,000 as his payout would have been $583,683 at that time under the contract.
Warren said the village's long-term debts now amount to $115 million with the payout.