WILKES-BARRE — Marcella Lendacky had a short tenure as police chief of just over two years, but the last half will have a lasting effect on the city.
Her final 12 months played a significant role in her pension, calculated at $73,645 a year, according to information obtained by the Times Leader through a Right to Know request.
Attempts to reach Lendacky Monday were unsuccessful.
Lendacky, 57, retired on June 3 after serving 29 years, two months and eight days. Her exit was hastened by a report completed in March by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and circulated among city officials that said she lacked the professional qualifications to run the department and, along with another commander, caused the rift between the administration and the rank and file officers.
The city has yet to hire a replacement for her as talks with the two finalists selected from the candidates who applied for the job are at a standstill. Mayor Tony George appointed Commander Joseph Coffay as the officer in charge of the department in the interim.
George, a former city police chief, named Lendacky to the chief’s post in March 2016. She was hired on March 27, 1989 and prior to her appointment by the mayor had been a lieutenant in charge of the night shift. Her promotion came with a higher salary that affected her pension.
During her last 12 months as police chief, she was paid $107,080, according to information provided by the city through the Right to Know request. She had accumulated $7,389 in holiday pay, $4,267 in sick leave and an additional $1,500 paid all police officers and fire personnel through an annual parking enforcement settlement. The total compensation for the period was $120,237.
Her pension was calculated at 61.25 percent of the pay for the last 12 months: 50 percent for service up to 20 years and 11.25 percent for service more than 20 years.
The monthly payment amounts to $6,137.
The Policemen’s Relief Pension Fund which oversees the pension meets quarterly. It’s next scheduled public meeting is at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 in City Hall.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.