An Orchard Park councilman is responding to questions over the resignation of the town’s police chief.
Councilman Mike Sherry, who himself is a former officer, issued a seven-page letter on the town website defending the severance package and also issuing an apology of sorts for how it was all handled.
Chief Pacholec retired last month after being put on administrative leave for reasons the town still won’t reveal.
In the letter, Councilman Sherry wrote one significant consideration was that he had not been entertaining any thoughts of retiring in the near term, so recognizing that with one-third of 2019 over upon his May 3 retirement, the $100,000 severance approximates his remaining salary for 2019.
Last week, Town Attorney John Bailey told News 4, “The only way I can justify it is that Chief Pacholec was the highest paid employee of the town and the settlement amount represents that,”
Pacholec made about $165,000 a year at the time of his retirement.
The severance package was part of a confidential settlement. That’s something that didn’t sit well with residents in the town.
Sherry went on to apologize for that, calling it a mistaken decision based upon the legal direction the council was provided.
Sherry will still not say why Pacholec retired but did write that it had nothing to do with the recent assessment of the compensation package for the police chief position.
That was adjusted before Pacholec’s retirement but Sherry says the two are unrelated.
To read the whole letter click here.
A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed Bailey’s quote to Sherry.