Paterson Top Stories

City Council Negotiating New Retirement Deal For Police Chief



PATERSON, NJ – For the second time in a year, Police Chief James Wittig is negotiating his retirement with city officials.

Last December, the city council rejected a package that would have provided Wittig more than $300,000 in back pay and reimbursement for unused sick and vacation time.

Sign Up for E-News

Since then, Wittig has received a portion of the back pay and has taken many of the sick and vacation days he has accumulated, city council members said.

“We’re talking about a more reasonable package now,’’ said Councilman Kenneth Morris, chairman of the finance committee.

“It’s going to be a win for us and a win for him,’’ said City Council President Anthony Morris. “We’re happy and he’s happy.’’

Officials said they are still putting together details of Wittig’s proposed retirement package, which was discussed in closed session at the September 20 city council meeting.

“We’ve asked for a cost-benefit analysis,’’ said Councilman Andre Sayegh. “We don’t have anything concrete yet.’’

Wittig’s impending retirement seems almost inevitable this time. The chief will turn 65 in February, the mandatory police retirement date under state law. Before his recent meeting with the city council, Wittig joked that he might stick around longer if the law were changed. The chief did not a return a phone message on Friday seeking his input on the negotiations.

Almost three weeks ago, asked city officials to provide information on how many unused sick and vacation days Wittig still has. A year ago, he had more than $150,000 worth of unused days coming to him. Council members interviewed late last week said they were not sure exactly how much in back pay Wittig has received in the past year.

Wittig began serving as chief in 2006, but did not get a pay increase. Part of the proposed package that was voted down by the city council last December would have provided him more than $190,000 in back pay.

Mayor Jeffrey Jones said he was not involved in the city council’s negotiations with Wittig. Jones criticized the council, saying the chief has been able to accrue more benefits because of the delay when the council refused to approve his retirement last year.

“They did what they thought they needed to do, but I’m puzzled by it,’’ Jones said.

When Wittig retires, his successor will be picked from among Paterson’s three deputy police chiefs – Robert Drace, William Freyer and Danny Nichols – under the guidelines of state law, officials said. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly Seeks Input on State Budget

April 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

As one of only 12 members on the New Jersey General Assembly’s Budget Committee, I am in the unique position to question New Jersey’s commissioners, those charged with leading our state's various departments, on the specifics of the FY 19 budget that Governor Murphy has proposed. As you may know, this budget must be passed by June 30, 2018.

From education to ...

Mayor Ras Baraka Shares Secret of Newark’s Success in Paterson

April 18, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- With new construction dotting its neighborhoods, control of the schools back in local hands, and a spot on the list of finalists to land Amazon’s proposed second headquarters, Newark is a city on the rise.

It is with the state’s largest city’s upward trajectory in mind, and contemplation of their own city’s future, that several prominent Paterson leaders ...

Communication Workers of America (CWA) Endorses Andre Sayegh For Mayor Of Paterson

April 19, 2018

(PATERSON) – As part of the growing support for Councilman Andre Sayegh in his campaign for Mayor of Paterson, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) New Jersey today announced its endorsement.

“New Jerseyans have repeatedly voted for progressive leadership that puts working families first,” said Hetty Rosenstein, New Jersey’s CWA Director.  “Andre ...

Organizations Team Up to Make Prom Dreams Come True

April 5, 2018

On March 29 the Paterson Great Falls Rotary ClubTAPinto hosted their annual prom dress giveaway. This year they joined with several other groups, making the event bigger than ever. TAPinto Paterson reader, and Great Falls Rotary Club Director, Debra Flower shared this piece abut how the event started, what it’s become, and where it’s going.

Paterson Great Falls Rotary Club ...