For Immediate Release
Contact: James Gannon 973-588-5089
Boonton, March 1, 2016 – Republican Jim Gannon, who retired in 2008 as a Member of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) from his 25-years of service as a Boonton and Boonton Township Police Officer, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, with an annual pension of $78,160, will file paperwork with the State of New Jersey to freeze that pension and collect only his salary as Morris County Sheriff if successful in the June primary and then elected to a full-term in November.
Under N.J.S.A. 43:3C-3, Gannon’s decision to freeze his pension will also require him to give up a $60,000 payout to his beneficiary (his daughter) in the event of his death, something Gannon called “being penalized for doing the right thing.” He urged lawmakers in Trenton to introduce legislation to fix it and said doing so could incentivize others to freeze their pensions while serving in elected office.
After his career in the public sector, Gannon continued his law enforcement and security career as a member of the FBI's elite Joint Terrorism Task Force and then as Global Head of Security Risk at Novartis. Gannon said that with Census Data showing the per capita income of a Morris County resident at $48,814 and Morris County household at $98,633, it didn’t feel appropriate to him to accept both a state pension and Sheriff’s salary that would potentially put his income at over $200,000 a year. Gannon will defer to the Freeholder Board to set his salary within the range allowable by law.
“Make no mistake, I believe law enforcement officers and firefighters earn their pensions – these men and women leave their families at home and put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” said Gannon, who reached out to the New Jersey Division of Pension and Benefits and confirmed that his pension can be temporarily frozen while he serves as Sheriff, and then restarted, without retroactive payments, after he leaves office. “But, for me personally, getting two checks funded by taxpayers to do just one job didn’t seem right. I want voters and taxpayers to know that running for Sheriff isn’t about the money for me – it’s about keeping our county safe and secure.”