EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 23, 2013

Andover Police Chief: I wanted to stay

Contract dispute led police chief to retire

ANDOVER — Police Chief Brian Pattullo says he would have preferred to stay on the job for another three years, but instead he will retire in July because he and Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski were unable to reach a contract deal.

When he leaves, he will do so on a $169,600 salary and with enough unused time off to buy back and generate a hefty lump sum payment. He will also receive a pension he’s paid into for 32 years, all the while also working full-time for a private security firm in Boston.

“You might ask if I was interested in staying,” Pattullo said in an interview yesterday.

If asked, his answer would be “yes,” but it was Stapczynski saying “no” that, ultimately, led him to retire from the department to take a job in the private sector.

On July 31, “the magic numbers” will be lined up in Pattullo’s favor. He will be 55 years old with 32 years of service to the town, both of which must be hit before he can officially retire and start collecting his pension, he said.

But he wanted his time in Andover to end differently, he said.

Pattullo has months of unused sick time — the amount of time reaches beyond the 120 days threshold that limits what an employee can buy back at the end of his or her career, according to Stapczynski.

Barring a long-term disability from injury or illness, Pattullo will get 120 days of sick time in the form of a check on his final day of work, Stapczynski said.

Pattullo also has 39 days of unused vacation time. He has a week of vacation planned later this year, but he’ll also get 30 more paid days off — six weeks worth — once he hits his anniversary in July, Stapczynski said.

With so much to buy back, as it came time for Stapczynski and Pattullo to bargain on a new contract last year, Pattullo started pressing for a three-year deal that dropped his salary but included payment of that buyback over the life of the contract, he said.

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