Village paid former police commissioner $400K upon retiring

Majority of payment to Charles Gennario was for unused time off


The Village of Rockville Centre agreed to pay former Police Commissioner Charles Gennario $400,000 after he signed a retirement settlement, according to documents obtained by the Herald.

The money was to be paid in two checks — one totaling more than $391,000 and the remainder in another, which “represents a retroactive pay increase to employee for the full year of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018,” according to the March agreement. The latter amount would be added to Gennario’s base salary for pension calculation purposes, it stated.

Village spokeswoman Julie Scully said the payment included money for unused vacation and compensatory time, as well as unused sick and personal days, but did not wish to give further details. The funds were taken out of the village’s reserve account, she added, which is money set aside to pay various expenses that arise without dipping into the budget.

Gennario joined the Rockville Centre Police Department in 1986. He spent 12 years as an officer in the department, seven years as a sergeant and five years as a lieutenant before being appointed as the village’s police commissioner in 2010.

The village decided not to reappoint Gennario, who earned a salary of $213,661 last year, after his appointment expired on March 31. James Vafeades, who has served in the Rockville Centre Police Department for 28 years, replaced him as commissioner.

Gennario told the Herald that his termination pay — the value of five days per year, up to 30 years, at that year’s salary — amounted to about $50,000 of the nearly $400,000. He was also paid for 200 unused sick days — the maximum amount to be compensated for — based on his latest salary, he said, as well as about 15 vacation days and several other personal days that he did not use last year.

He claimed the village did not pay him for between 100 and 150 vacation days that he did not use during his time as commissioner, which he said his contract covered. “I don’t know what I did to those people,” Gennario said. “I was always so loyal to them.”

The village denied the Herald’s Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL, request for Gennario’s 2010 contract upon becoming commissioner, saying that it “does not maintain or possess the records.” Scully wrote in an email that “the Village does not comment on personnel matters, that former Commissioner Gennario and the Village entered into an agreement in settlement of all his claims.”

He and Mayor Francis X. Murray signed the retirement agreement at the end of March, a few days before the commissioner’s last day. Murray said at the time in a statement that Gennario “has indicated in the past that he was contemplating retirement,” though Gennario, 63, told the Herald he was not yet ready to retire.