Sheriff Howard Underpaid, Like Schoolteachers

Sheriff Tim Howard beclowned himself again by taking a job working security for M&T Bank.  On top of that, he even did the sort of thing that’s supposed to really piss off the WBEN right in western New York: he used his county take-home vehicle to get to and from work at the bank. 

But Howard is shameless, and whines that the work was, like, really fulfilling and totally cool. It was also paying him $50/hour. 

If this was merely the first time Howard did something embarrassing, corrupt, or stupid, it’d be bad enough. But as the News points out

It’s hard not to conclude that this is simply another episode of the sheriff’s pattern of poor judgment. That deficiency was on display when the jail was plagued with prisoner suicides; it was on display in the aftermath of jail escapes, including that of Ralph “Bucky” Phillips; and it was on display last fall when he pitched for votes by promising not to enforce the state’s new gun law known as the SAFE Act. This is a law enforcement officer who has shown he is without any sense of the propriety his high office demands.

It is true that Erie County’s sheriff is woefully underpaid. Howard’s salary is just $79,000, a ridiculously low figure given the importance of the job to county residents. Incredibly, Howard is paid $32,000 a year less than his undersheriff, Mark N. Wipperman, though it’s fair to say that Wipperman does a better job running the department than his boss.

But if money was a motivating factor for Howard, the answer wasn’t for him to cheat taxpayers of a full-time sheriff by moonlighting as a bank detective. It was to petition the County Legislature and county executive for an increase in pay, and then to rally support for the point. Most sheriffs, though perhaps not this one, could have made a strong case for a higher salary.

Better yet, if the Sheriff’s salary is so “low” at $79,000 (I really need to remember that line the next time some half-baked asshole attacks public school teacher salaries), Mr. Howard can simply resign and go to work for M&T full time.

45 comments

  • Actually, the sheriff or any other elected official cannot just “petition the County Legislature and county executive for an increase in pay,” as the Buffalo News suggests. The county Salary Review Commission would have to be empaneled to begin the process.

    • He’s part of the wrong party – he doesn’t get a raise. He stood against the Unsafe Act – he doesn’t get a pay raise. He didn’t kiss king Cuomo’s ring – NO PAY RAISE FOR YOU ! – He has to learn to be more Democratic and get a second appointment or office so he can get more than one tax funded job and double up on his pension – whats wrong with this guy ?

      • Ooh, brilliant use of the argle bargle approach to debate. In the off chance that you can and will read, here is a link to the Erie County Charter portion covering the Citizens Salary Review Commission, which is the only method the salaries of EC elected officials, outside of the district attorney, can be increased or decreased. Oh, and that’s regardless of party affiliation.

        1.usa.gov/1kujpkJ

        I was told by someone who read my above comment that the County Legislature had contacted the County Executive, asking him to empanel the Salary Review Commission, and that the CE has picked his six appointments. If this is so, I wonder if either caucus contacted the media about this; you’d think there would be someone who could contact the media while working there. I searched the Buffalo News website but could not find anything about this.

        • Mr.Bentankle verified it in one of his own past articles – of course he didn’t mention Sheriff Howard was left out when the Dem County Exec gave his list to the Committee – I wonder why he’s playing dumb now – he wrote about Deputy Whipperman and others getting their raises ??????? Maybe that’s why he’s avoiding that fact !

          • WTF are you talking about? Why would the CE place the sheriff, an elected official, on his list of appointees to the Citizens Salary Review Commission? Do you think he would, should or could appoint any elected county officeholder to the commission?

            If this is not what you mean, maybe you can translate argle bargle into English, because the CE did not propose a list of salary increases; the Citizens Salary Review Commission will make recommendations, which then can be voted on by the County Legislature.

            Alan – If you have written anything on this current county salary situation, I apologize for missing it, and could you provide a link? I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t, considering the other slop being flung here such as the oh, so clever references to “Mr. Bentankles” and the misspelling of Deputy Sheriff Wipperman’s last name.

          • Kevin, this is the only thing I’ve written about this, ever. It’s only come up because Sheriff Howard is moonlighting.

          • Thank you, Alan. I am shocked that Mr. Zarbo apparently has absolutely no idea what he was writing about or is lying about it. Shocked, I tell you.

          • I don’t run a blog to have my name insulted by the likes of “Rick Zarbo“, just another Republican Obamaphobe dining at the public trough.

          • Wait, “Who did it?” is Rick Zarbo? That explains a lot.

          • Yep. You just have to click on the Facebook icon when you click on his name in the thread.

            I’ve banned him from any additional comments on this site because, frankly, I’m not going to tolerate schoolyard insults from hypocritical Republican public-trough-feeders.

      • Talk about not having a CLUE what you are talking about…….

  • I love dudes with guns and multiple incomes….oh, and Freedom. Not the town….but I like them too.

  • He’s still being paid too much.

  • Ho w many more years are we to put up with this guys incompetence, pandering & corruption?

  • I like the picture of Barney Fife and the village laundryman…….

  • I supported Shemp Howard

  • Two corrections for the Buffalo News.

    First, as W. C . Fields says, that’s not “bank detective,” but “bank dick.

    Second, that problem in the Erie County Holding Center is not “prisoner suicides” but “prisoner ‘suicides.'”

    Q: “How low can you go?” (Chubby Checker, “Limbo Rock”)

    A: “Tim Howard–there just isn’t any lower.”

  • In comparison to other government salaries, I am surprised at the $79,000 salary for Sheriff. I thought it would be higher.

  • But the Sheriff has become a caretaker position. The News did point out that most of the scheduling and supervision has been taken over by the courts and his role is more ceremonial than active.
    When the shooter was plugging away at the Deputies last year Howard actually appeared to be tentative when interviewed. I have the opinion he is probably pretty ineffective in actual confrontational situations.
    I worked with Bozos like he and they invariably appear to be posing more than involved with any action.

  • I assume our Dudley Dooright comptroller is hot on this trail of corruption.
    Off topic: I turned 60 today. Can any of you fucks who have been down this road tell me when my brain stops acting like it’s 30??

  • He wasn’t paid with tax dollars while working at the Bank. He was not stuffing his tax funded pension by working there. There’s nothing there to cost taxpayers one cent.
    While many or most elected and appointed officials double dip on tax funded jobs/positions – while they stuff their tax funded pensions – he didn’t.
    This is just an attempt to create a issue so the headlines can be used as reelection smear tools. Party Players are sleaze balls and the bufnews and AV are just playing their parts.
    I would rather have a Sheriff who defends our rights, doesn’t kiss the political ring and on his off time works to curb crime – but that wouldn’t help Mr.Bentankles agenda now would it ?

    • He was using a public asset to commute to his private job – a job that he can either resign to take, or wait until he retires to take. Being Sheriff is not a part-time job, and the reason why he’s entitled to a take-home car is because he is considered under the law to be on call 24/7.

      You don’t have a Sheriff who “defends your rights” because that’s nowhere in a Sheriff’s job description. He is law enforcement – not law selection, and his grandstanding on the SAFE Act is just one more reason why he’s wrong for the job he’s been so bad at.

      • Alan,

        I would assume if a county emergency came up while he was at the bank he would leave.

      • Fact – Deputy Dem. Whipperman was installed and received almost a 18%+/- raise – making his pay higher than Sheriff Howard . No outcry on your part there –
        Hundreds if not thousands of tax funded employees and Politicians are picked up – driven home in tax funded cars while getting paid.
        Thousands of tax funded employees including volunteer fire fighters use tax funded vehicles to go to lunch – shopping and even drive their kids to school – all because some Politician says “They are considered on call”

        Because Alan and his Dem friends want to create a issue – doesn’t mean its to protect tax payers – you just want your boy in there. Its not for one second about protecting tax payers or our rights.

        Sheriff Howard doesn’t select what laws he or his employees enforce – he does as a free American have the right to exspress his beliefs. – Although I know you wouldn’t agree with that – unless it was your boy !

        Your playing “Party Favorites” is blatantly obvious and AV is nothing more than a Dem Party Cheerleading Globe look alike. Have you kissed Cuomo’s ring lately ?

        • Is Deputy Whipperman using his county car for private gain?

          • The county car is to transport him to police scenes, when and if needed, no matter where he is. I haven’t seen any evidence that he has failed to respond to a police matter because of his second job.

          • Yeah, we all know employers love it when you skip out in the middle of your shift.

          • Volunteer Firefighters do that all the time, nobody seems to be getting their panties in a bunch over it.

          • volunteer firefighters do not do it all the time, and have no protections to do it. In fact, many have lost their job simply for leaving to respond to a call. There was an attempt at legislation in NY to allow VF’s to have job protection so they could respond. Cuomo continues to veto it.

          • That’s a specious argument at best. I’m sure M&T was fully aware that Higgins holds the position of Erie County Sheriff and the possibility that he may have to attend to police matters at a moment’s notice.

          • well of course they were. All I was pointing out to you was that VF’s do NOT do it all the time. Not even trying to argue with you.

          • Sheriff Higgins was doing this as well?

          • I didn’t say he was – didn’t he get a car and a 18%+/- raise ? Who controls his pay raises – who controls the Sheriffs pay raises – can you at least be honest about that ?
            Bob and weave – spin and spit – not working here boss. Come on you want Howard out and your boy in – that’s all your type want – control.

          • You should go back and read what Hosey wrote.

        • Here’s a better question: Why won’t you make your account history known?

          Is it because you’re scared? Got something to hide? Fess up.

          Enquiring minds want to know!

          • Deflect from the issue – this is how Party Players work – don’t look at the made up nonissue – lets try a deflect onto the messenger. I am answering with factual truth – what could I be hiding – I guarantee I don’t know the Sheriff personally and I have no agenda like the guy who posted this nonsense – Cheek man what’s your agenda – could you be a “Party Player” – maybe you should identify your self – we know who Alan B. is and his agenda is obvious – didn’t Deputy Whipperman get a 18%+/- tax funded raise. Why didn’t the Sheriff get a raise – who controls that – answer the questions!

    • Ever hear of Tarp?

      • Is that something that is supposed to apply to Cops, Firemen, Elected and Appointed Politicians, City and County tooo ?

        Is it OK for some of these guys to collect 2-3-4 tax funded checks for holding 2-3-4 tax funded jobs and combining pensions to inflate their pensions ?

        Sheriff Howards bank job isn’t tax funded – doesn’t inflate his pension – does it.

        Ever hear of “Selective Enforcement” – of course you have !

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