POUGHKEEPSIE – In November, Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady was re-elected to his 10th four-year term. Since being re-elected, he has submitted paperwork to the New York State & Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) to retire. Grady still plans to take his oath of office in January and serve his new term. This time, he will be collecting both his $200,400 annual salary from Dutchess County as well as his pension.
The NYSLRS allows for elected officials to draw their salary and pension if they were elected prior to 1995 and are over the age of 65. Grady meets those requirements.
He was sworn into his first term in 1984 and exceeds the age requirement by twelve years. “I have applied for, under the existing rules of the New York State Retirement System, for the ability to retire at this time and continue in office. Many, many other people have done this, taking advantage of the opportunity to protect my family and ensure that if anything happened to me, they would be protected.”
The practice of elected officials drawing both a salary and pension after reaching the retirement age has been criticized for years by Albany lawmakers, many of whom take advantage of the loophole. Recently retired New York State Senator John DeFrancisco, a Central New York Republican drew criticism for using the loophole in 2014. In his justification, DeFrancisco noted that if he had died while in office, his wife of more than four decades would not receive his retirement benefits but instead would receive a “modest” lump sum benefit.
Grady first went to work for the DA’s office in 1970 and became the chief assistant DA in 1975. He was elected to the position of district attorney in 1983 and was sworn into office in January of 1984.
There are no current proposals put forth by state lawmakers to change the law.