The Village of Southampton police chief is slated to get a three-quarter of a million dollar payout upon his retirement next month following a lengthy heated public dispute with the mayor.
Chief Thomas Cummings’ contract allows for the payment as compensation for 686 unused vacation and sick days, according to Newsday, which reported that the payout was one of several high-priced village police chief retirement payouts on Long Island in recent years.
“I wish Chief Cummings nothing but the best and thank him for his service,” Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren said in a news release.
Cummings, 57, was hired by the department in 1987 and became chief in 2010. He did not respond to a request for comment.
The village board voted July 20 to approve the payout and end the chief’s contract, which expired in May but had a provision that allowed him to stay on the job unless he was voted out. Following a rare detailed public airing of the contract negotiations, the village board failed in April to pass a bid to end the contract, with two voting for, two against, and one abstaining. But after two Warren allies ousted in the June elections the two police union-backed trustees who voted against ending the contract, the measure passed—although the payout grew by $200,000 as a result.
The mayor said an interim chief will be appointed once Cummings retires, and a search will be conducted to find a permanent replacement.