Lawyers Sue over NY Benefits Cutoff

June 22, 2009 ( - The controversy over Long Island, New York, private lawyers being cut off from collecting some or all of their public pensions continues as two attorneys filed suit against the state over the benefits being ended.

A Newsday news story said filing the suits were   William Englander, once carried as an employee on six school district payrolls at the same time, and Dominick Minerva, who was similarly hired by four government entities. The lawyers allege Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli violated their due process rights in deciding to end the payments.

Newsday said Englander, 82, of Port Washington, had been collecting a pension of about $25,000 a year until February, when he was stripped of the pension and ordered to pay back $154,318. Englander was carried on the payrolls of the North Merrick, North Bellmore, Bellmore-Merrick, Smithtown, Mineola and Bellmore school districts.

Meanwhile, Minerva, 68, of Lido Beach, collects a pension of $98,859. In October, the comptroller’s office informed him that some of his pension credits were invalid because records showed he was an independent contractor at Lawrence Sanitary District #1, the Water Authority of Western Nassau, the Nassau County Bridge Authority and the Lawrence school district, according to the news report.

The cases came out of a probe by DiNapoli in mid-2008 into the role of attorneys and the amount of pension to which they were legally entitled from the state retirement system (see  NY Comptroller Implicates More Attorneys in Excess Pension Probe ).