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Polhemus Has Pocketed Nearly A Million In Pension Payouts From Seaside Heights

Polhemus, 84, is running for his tenth term as Ocean County Sheriff

Longtime Ocean County Sheriff William L. Polhemus has collected $929,793 in pension payments since he retired as Seaside Heights police chief back in the 1980s, according to a report by New Jersey Watchdog.

Polhemus, 84, currently receives $165,941 a year — $122,669 in salary plus a $43,272 pension as a retired Seaside Heights police chief, the report states.

"At age 84, Polhemus is the Republican nominee running for a tenth term, the report states. "If he wins, he’ll become a full-fledged, double-dipping pension millionaire."

Polhemus is running against Democrat George "Bob" Armstrong and Independent John McMenamin in the race for Ocean County Sheriff. Polhemus spent 35 years in the Seaside Heights police department.

Both McMenamin and Armstrong also draw pensions as retired law enforcement officers.

McMenamin receives a $90,398 a year tax-free disability pension. McMenamin was injured in a 2006 on-duty accident involving an all-terrain-vehicle as a Stafford Township police officer.

While the state considers him to be "totally and permanently disabled," McMenamin contends his disability would not impair his ability to serve as sheriff, according to New Jersey Watchdog.

"If McMenamin wins, his take from the public trough would go up to $213,067 a year," the report states.

In contrast, Armstrong receives a small state pension of $7,836 a year from his five years of service as an investigator for the State Commission of Investigations and the Division of Criminal Justice.

Armstrong also receives a federal pension as a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. Federal benefits paid to pensioners are not considered public record.

Polhemus turned down a request from the Ocean County League of Women Voters to debate his opponents. He has not returned numerous calls from Berkeley Patch for an election preview interview.

Polhemus and Undersheriff William Sommeling are among 51 county law enforcement officials in New Jersey who still receive salaries while also drawing a pension, according to a report by New Jersey Watchdog.

The investigation found that 17 sheriffs and 34 undersheriffs collectively earn $9.1 million a year "double dipping" — $3.7 million in retirement pay on top of $5.4 million in salaries — while utilizing loopholes under Gov. Chris Christie's pension reforms.

Scott Neuman October 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM
What a decision this year for Sheriff. And remember, as for as the current sheriff, your current freeholders stand behind this double dipper all the way. Armstrong is probably the realistic choice here. I'm not sure I'm hiring the guy that is on disability. If he is able to run and serve as a Sheriff, you have to ask yourself if his disability payments need to be revisited. Scott Neuman / http://www.scottneumanforfreeholder.com - Your Independent Voice in Ocean County.
oldsoldier October 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM
A lot of complaints about the Sheriff, but I read one solution (thanks to letsgetreal and Redonred): Stop voting for him. Vote for the other guy (Bob Armstrong). For those who would put him dowm because he was not in law enforcement, allow me to point out one thing: Many in law enforcement have a military background, and judging from his photo, it looks like Mr. Armstrong does too. I'm willing to give him a chance, how about you? Just my opinion. Vote for the person, not the party.
Mr. Newton October 24, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Vote for anyone but Pohemlus!!!
barbara October 24, 2012 at 03:21 AM
It's like a Banana Republic. The job isn't supposed to be for life.
ballyjduf October 24, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Vote for anyone but Pohemlus!!! I AM ... ALL OF YOU THAT VOTE FOR HIM REALLY DESERVE WHAT YOU GET NOTHING .

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