ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Acting APD Chief Allen Banks announced Wednesday he’s retiring and heading off to Texas for another police chief job.
He’ll be taking a big bankroll with him. News 13 learned he’s getting a payout that puts a lot of other payouts you’ve seen in the news to shame.
It’s a controversy, city workers cashing out on their unused sick and vacation days, and Chief Banks has a lot of them. The mayor’s office estimates he’ll pocket more than $163,000.
Before Wednesday’s announcement that he’s retiring in a month, Banks put in more than 20 years at APD. Over that time he’s stockpiled more than 2,000 hours in unused sick leave, and 470 hours in unused vacation time, and he gets paid for them at his current rate of $65 per hour.
It’s not a new issue. The city spends millions of dollars a year in payouts like this to retiring workers.
“I definitely believe we need to probably look at these contracts with new police officers or firefighters or any other city employee that comes on board, is because of the promotional ranks, the amounts become much higher,” said City Council President Ken Sanchez.
While Sanchez thinks this is a problem, he did praise Banks for his dedication and for showing up to work almost every day.
“I know it’s a large sum of money, but again, it’s a lot of his life that he gave to the citizens of this community,” said Sanchez.
The mayor’s office agrees, and said they’re looking into the payout system. However, city officials said they most likely can’t make changes to current employees’ deals.
Banks will also be making $140,000 a year as police chief in Round Rock, Texas, which is a little more than he’s making in New Mexico as the interim chief. On top of that, his pension checks should top $80,000 a year.
City officials said human resources will review the numbers for accuracy before any checks are written.