To the Editor:

May 22

The news media are telling us about the state trooper who was recorded by the victim [sic] blowing his cool in a questionable traffic stop. The trooper’s name doesn’t really matter. And we can assume, being a state cop, he’ll have his wrists publicly slapped but still get full pay for his next 14 months on the job—which he “can’t wait to be done,” as he vented to himself while being recorded.

And thereby hangs a tale. I looked up the trooper on the Connecticut Transparency website, a marvelous resource for researching the depth of the state’s financial morass. And here’s what I found: Last year our trooper was paid $181,568.91 plus $48,260.28 in fringe benefits. Since he intends to retire in 14 months, he’ll easily beat the July 2022 date when certain fringes become less attractive, thanks to a deal executed by the Malloy administration and Democrat legislature. (Not that Republicans, for all their bluster, would have done any better.)

The trooper’s pension will be based on his best three years of pay. That’s why lots of Connecticut’s finest put in lots and lots and even more overtime during those last three years. After 20 years on the job, a retiree will get half the average of the best three in pension, with two percent added for each additional year on the job.

It’s likely the trooper in question will spend his last days on the job at a desk, though of course he’ll still have his taxpayer-funded cruiser and gasoline to use as the spirit moves him.

It must be said that there are lots of police, corrections officers, and other state employees who don’t abuse the retirement system. But then there are those, including but not limited to political appointees and UConn administrators, teachers, and coaches who milk the system and screw the taxpayers. And, lest we forget, we have to thank the morons we put in office for the profound fiscal poop Connecticut is in. So it’s really our fault.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Mordecai Rosenberg