Batavia's fire chief denied waiver on pension + salary, resigns as of Friday
Batavia's interim Fire Chief Thomas Dillon will serve his last day with the department on Friday.
Dillon is resigning after the New York Civil Service Commission denied a waiver that would have allowed him to continue drawing retirement benefits while receiving a full-time salary from the city.
Dillon retired after 29 years with the Rochester fire department and under civil service rules could not collect more than $30,000 per year as Batavia's chief without a waiver. The job pays $80,000 per year.
Details on the reason for the denial are not immediately available, but Dillon said he believed it had something to do with the availability of local candidates to fill the role. Civil service rules only allow a full-time position to be filled by a retired public employee if there are not other qualified candidates for the job.
Dillon, who was appointed to the job in September, said he's disappointed to be leaving Batavia.
"This has been a great fit for me," Dillon said. "I can't say enough about how great the people here have been. I have nothing but good things to say about the people on both the fire and the medic side. It's been a great experience for me."
He also praised the city administration and repeated how disappointed he is that he's unable to stay in Batavia.
Dillon and his wife will return to Geneseo, where they ow na home, he said.
UPDATE: An alert reader notes that city officials must have known for a few days at least that Chief Dillon would be leaving. There is a help wanted ad in the Democrat and Chronicle. The job opening was not advertised with the Daily News nor The Batavian (which is free). Nor is the job placed with Craig's List, which is also free.
UPDATE II: Before tonight's council meeting, I spoke with Jason Molino. "We've been advertising the position for the last week and we have received resumes," Molino said. He also said, "We are considering internal candidates, as well."