Bloomberg is using Stockton Police “brief chief” Tom Morris to illustrate how overpaid public employees broke cities.
As well it should. Morris served with honor. But he quit with self-servingess. He bailed on the city, then double-dipped. I remember when I did a column on it, how indignant he was. Why, he was entitled to the money!
Legally, he was. Though the law should be reformed. Ethically, his entitlement is less clear. He quit because he couldn’t stand working with Gordon Palmer. Granted, Palmer was not qualified; still, a six-figure salary should obligate the recipient to be patient and collaborative, especially when your city needs you. Morris chose instead to quit in a huff, then take another job on the public payroll — double dipping, as it’s called.
So he retired on approximately $16,200 a month. Then took an investigator’s job which pays up to $5,332 a month – $18,000 to $21,000 a month, “earning in one month the greater part of what the average Stocktonian earns in a year, if you believe the census,” I wrote then.
It’s wrong. But it’s systemically wrong. Morris didn’t create the system. He and his ilk just thrive in it.