The town's personnel plan outlines hiring procedures, including job postings. But the secretary's position was never posted.
Likewise, he was a full time employee under the town's personnel plan, which defines part time as fewer than 35 hours a week. Quigley is working 37 hours a week.
Selectmen's Chairwoman Linda Saari made the announcement Monday, reading from a prepared Omega Seamaster Goldeneye statement.
secretary when he came on board, and how he was able to place Matheson, with whom he has a personal relationship, in a full time job after longtime police department secretary Celia Lingley resigned.
Saari said the board would inform the public after the state retirement system concludes its investigation and makes a decision.
State retirement law is murky, however, when it comes to defining full time and part time for police and firefighters. Karlon said the retirement system relies on a city or town to define "part time" for these workers, although it's up to the retirement system to investigate employees suspected of double dipping illegally.
BROOKLINE The town expects to pay roughly $3,500 into the New Hampshire Retirement System to compensate for the time Police Chief William Quigley III was working in excess of 35 hours a week, and it's likely that Quigley will be required to make a payment to the retirement system to cover the same period.
Signers of the petition also wanted to know why the chief has been allowed to commute from Weare in a police cruiser accompanied by Matheson, since starting the job about four months ago, and why he hasn't moved to town.
Selectmen have said Quigley plans to move to town as soon as his divorce is final. His contract signed with the town requires him to relocate by April 15.
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But the state rule governing part time hours did not apply in Brookline. Neither the chief nor town officials were aware of this, she continued, until the state retirement system contacted the town.
the contract Quigley signed in October, his job status was full time, and there was no mention of specific hours, although Quigley made clear that he could work only 37 hours a week and would volunteer additional time if a job required it.
It isn't clear, moreover, if the town was counting Quigley's daily commute from Weare in a police cruiser, time that is considered "working hours" under federal labor laws, according to a letter from an investigator for public integrity cases, which was forwarded to town and state officials and the newspaper last week.
"It's a mutual responsibility. That's why we encourage both sides to contact us with questions," Karlon said. "We try to hammer home the message: 'Ask us.' "
The retirement issue isn't the only question dogging the Brookline police chief.
The chief's contract with the town, signed on Oct. 11, 2010, describes his $77,000 a year position, which includes salary and payroll taxes, as "full time, year round," including nights and weekends.
The 52 year old chief has been retired for seven years but never stopped working.
He was allowed to work 37 hours a week in his previous positions with the state Liquor Commission and as deputy chief in Weare, because the state defines full time as 37.5 hours a week or more, Saari said.
The process is not public, however. Auditors are not allowed to reveal any of the details of a case publicly, or even explain where they are in the process.
Meanwhile, concerns about the system have led to the introduction of several bills in the state Legislature seeking changes to make the retirement system more accountable. And the issue has been gaining momentum nationally.
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Residents, including 60 who signed a petition delivered to the Board of Selectmen last week, want to know why the chief was allowed to hire Donna Matheson as his temporary Omega Watches James Bond
In her statement, Saari pointed out that the town saves about $22,700 annually, the cost of benefits if the chief, was working full time.
On Monday, officials revised the personnel plan, last amended in January, to redefine part time employment for town police officers by making an exception: a part time police officer may work 37 hours a week, and up to 39 1 2 hours a week, as needed.
chief may owe too
By contrast, employees other than police who work part time are limited to fewer than 35 hours a week on a regular basis, according to the personnel plan.
Marty Karlon, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Retirement System, said the Quigley case illustrates why NHRS urges employers and employees to contact the system before making a hire, or taking a job.
Under state law, a retired police officer who continues to work and receive a pension must be a part time employee. But the contract between the chief and the town, signed in October, indicated that he was a full time employee.
Karlon said the NHRS, which employs two auditors to review each of the 479 member groups that the system serves, responds to tips or inquiries brought by a private person, and the auditors take action.
taken tonight have fully addressed the concerns that were raised about Mr. Quigley's pension," Saari read from the statement. "We regret the confusion that resulted for residents while we attempted to clarify the issues raised in this matter."
It followed a conversation with the state's retirement system. The system has been investigating whether the town's police chief, who is drawing a pension, has been working full time or part time.
In Brookline, officials are complying with state law by amending the town's personnel plan and its contract with Quigley, changing the language to ensure that the chief is employed on a part time basis.
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