Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has eliminated overtime for the head of his security detail after he received nearly $109,000 in overtime last year.
A Schneiderman spokesman said Garry Ferguson, whose overtime jumped almost fivefold between 2012 and 2013, would no longer be eligible for overtime in the position. The agency will also review its overtime policies.
“We are also reviewing our internal processes for monitoring overtime hours for members of the Attorney General’s security detail and working to determine whether we have the appropriate number of officers assigned to this team,” LaVera continued.
Ferguson ranked seventh on the list of overtime earners in state government in 2013, according to the state Comptroller’s Office. Between his salary and overtime, Ferguson earned nearly $198,000 in 2013 after accruing close to 1,800 hours of overtime. His base salary was $89,000.
The rest of the top 20 overtime earners last year worked at either mental-health facilities or prisons. The top overtime recipient was James Weeks, a lieutenant at the Coxsackie state prison near Albany, who received nearly $119,000 in extra pay.
Schneiderman, a Democrat first elected in 2010, has a full-time security detail, as did his predecessors, his office said. He is based in Manhattan.
Ferguson’s overtime increased in 2013 in part because two members of the security detail were on medical leave. Also, the detail helped with federal security in early 2013 in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Schneiderman’s office said.
When reached at his office Thursday, Ferguson, who lives in Westchester County, declined comment. He retired as a New York City police detective in 2002 after 20 years of service and earns an annual pension of about $32,000, city records show.
Ferguson’s overtime in 2013 was much higher than what he had received in prior years. In 2012, records show, he earned $22,726 in overtime and in 2011, he earned $40,565.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has warned about increases in overtime costs in state government. The state’s prison system had the highest amount of overtime in 2013; the attorney general’s office didn’t rank among the top 20 state agencies in overtime. Schneiderman also didn’t have a member of his staff as a top overtime earner before Ferguson last year.
DiNapoli said last month that overtime at state agencies rose to a record $611 million in 2013, a nearly 16 percent increase compared to 2012.
“State agencies should take a hard look at how they are using overtime and for what,” Dinapoli said in his report last month. “To hold the line on state spending, state agencies should double their efforts to reduce this expensive habit.”