Ex-cop reaps $ 90G in disability pension, full-time U.S. Army job
Anthony Hernandez, 43, of Staten Island retired from the NYPD and earns nearly $ 90,000 in tax free NYPD disability payments is working fulltime as an armed security guard for the U.S. Army.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, October 9, 2016, 4:00 AM
A retired police detective earning a whopping $ 90,000-a-year in tax free NYPD disability payments is working full-time as a security boss for the U.S. Army, the Daily News has learned.
Anthony Hernandez, 43, of Staten Island, retired as a detective from the NYPD in January 2014 and began receiving $ 7,443.62 a month in coveted disability payments from the city, records show.
Within a few months, the former general manager of the NYPD’s football team then began working as a security official at the sprawling Brooklyn military base in Fort Hamilton, making about $ 50,000 a year, records show.
“He didn’t waste any time leaving the NYPD and starting to work here,” a source told The News. “He supposedly has a back problem, but he’s bending down and picking up weapons, jumping in and out of his vehicle.”
Under state law, retired cops, who go back to work less than 20 years from the day they became police officers, risk being forced to go back to NYPD duty if they are found physically fit after a medical exam.
They lose their disability pension if they refuse.
Hernandez, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment, was appointed a cop in September 2000, which puts him at a hair over 16 years since he joined the NYPD — four years from the cut-off.
Photos obtained by The News show Hernandez strutting near a guard house at the base’s entrance, dressed in a dark blue uniform with a shield, toting an M-4 rifle with a sign over his shoulder that reads: “Police: Do Not Enter.”
In all respects, he appears to be working as a law enforcement officer. He also carries a U.S. Army-issued 9mm. handgun, records show.
Hernandez somehow works full-time as a U.S. Army security boss after he left the NYPD due to “back problems.”
Hernandez even has the power to detain anyone on post if they commit any wrongdoing. His business card reads “security supervisor” — and lists his rank as sergeant. He also trains personnel and conducts physical fitness tests and firearms training.
If he is truly disabled, Hernandez may be violating Army regulations. Under the rules, he would have had to pass a physical fitness test, which he would have taken not long after he retired on the NYPD disability pension.
“He was required to be screened and fit, and I don’t know how he passed if he is disabled,” the source said.
The News has previously reported that DOI was looking in general into misuse of the NYPD disability pension system.
Sources said the city Department of Investigation is also investigating Hernandez.
A DOI spokeswoman declined to comment.
“Current and former City employees improperly receiving benefits is an area of active concern for DOI and we decline further comment,” Diane Struzzi said.
The New York City Police Pension Fund manages Hernandez’s disability payments and could take action if wrongdoing is found.
A witness says Anthony Hernandez can be seen bending down, picking up weapons and climbing in and out of his vehicle with no apparent difficulty.
The fund “takes allegations of fraud committed by our disability retirees very seriously,” spokeswoman Nicole Giambarrese said. “Allegations made to the Police Pension Fund are referred to the NYPD for investigation.”
Col. Peter Sicoli, the commanding officer at the base, declined comment. A base spokesman declined to comment, citing privacy laws.
The NYPD also declined comment.
Disability pension law is riddled with loopholes, including one that allows ex-cops to get disability if they are working as officers in other states or security at private institutions.
In January, The News exposed retired NYPD cop Christopher DePaolis, who was working for the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and running marathons. He was fired after The News broke the story.
The News has also written about Derek Huebner, another retired NYPD officer who got disability and then became a semi-pro body builder.
In June, The News reported that James Pisaniello retired as a captain with $ 102,000 disability pension and now occupies a senior position in the New York University security department.