NJ Police Officer’s Staple Injury Costs Taxpayers $2 Million


One staple may cost New Jersey taxpayers more than $2 million, reports NJ Watchdog on Philly.com. Christopher Onesti of Drexel Hill, Pa., collects a police disability pension for life because he stapled the ring finger of his non-shooting hand. State authorities ruled he is “totally and permanently disabled” — no longer able to handle a gun or perform duties as a New Jersey Transit cop. As a retiree at age 29, Onesti now visits firing ranges to shoot a high-powered rifle for fun between trips to the bank to cash nearly $46,000 a year in tax-free pension checks. Nearly 5,500 retired officers pocket more than $200 million a year in disability pay from the Police and Firemen's Retirement System. Such generosity adds to the woes of state pension funds that face a $47 billion shortfall. “There are huge loopholes that are costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars,” said John Sierchio, a PFRS trustee and reform advocate. “Why the legislature doesn't do anything about it, God only knows.”

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