NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, January 18, 2016, 4:00 AM
Pension rules allow former NYPD cop Derek Huebner to collect city disability cash even though he’s now a bodybuilder. A bad shoulder forced him to retire in the 1990s.
He’s pumping iron — and squeezing taxpayers for $ 40,000 a year.
An NYPD officer who retired with a disability pension now regularly participates in bodybuilding competitions — and pension rules permit it.
Derek Huebner retired on Aug. 31, 1996 after six years on the force, according to the New York City Police Pension Fund.
He receives $ 40,885.20, tax-free plus benefits, every year from the fund, which has come under scrutiny following reports in the Daily News.
“There’s no law against it,” Huebner said when asked about his receiving a disability pension while bodybuilding.
The Boca Raton beefcake, now 48, injured his shoulder in a foot pursuit in the mid-1990s while working as an NYPD cop, a source told The News.
Roughly a year after retirement, Huebner had moved to Florida, set up a gym in his garage, and worked out constantly, the source said.
When reached by The News, Huebner confirmed, “I work out.”
“Plenty of people work out and still — football players still play football,” he added before abruptly hanging up.
Huebner’s pension is safe because its generous terms only allow for a retired cop on disability to face consequences if he appears to not be disabled within 20 years of the day he was hired by the NYPD.
Christopher DePaolis is another retired NYPD cop collecting disability pension. He’s now a cop in Florida.
“You’re ripping off the taxpayer, really,” said the source who alerted The News to the questionable pension.
“No money should be free for anybody — unless you’re disabled.”
The NYPD’s Inspector General has opened an inquiry into the pension fund.
“If they ever looked into this they’d find other people in similar situations,” the source said.
“But they don’t care. They just keep paying these people. Shame on New York for allowing it.”
Last week, The News exclusively reported that Christopher DePaolis worked for the Broward County Sheriff’s Department in Florida, regularly ran footraces and still receives more than $ 82,000 a year from his NYPD pension.
The NYPD Inspector General is looking whether there are similar cases in the system, and what can be done to address them.
During a meeting of the Police Pension Fund Board of Trustees last week members said that DePaolis’s case had been referred to the NYPD.
There was no discussion of reform of pension rules.
The Albany-based Empire Center is awaiting a court ruling that could grant the public access to information on who receives police pensions.
Eric Sumberg, a spokesman for City Controller Scott Stringer, said disability pension decisions are based on standards set by state and city law.
“A medical board independently reviews these cases and determines eligibility, then forwards its recommendations to the trustees, who vote on each case on their merits and existing law,” he said.