Vallejo's police chief will get paid twice when he retires

Update April 17, 2019: After this report, the City of Vallejo announced Wednesday that Police Chief Andrew Bidou, who was set to retire at the end of this month, will postpone his departure. Last week, 2 Investigates reported on conflict arising surrounding him collecting two paychecks from two separate taxpayer-funded sources. The city says it was informed of a California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) provision that mandates a separation of 60-days between retirement and an interim appointment. As such, Chief Bidou will now stay on in his current role until June 30 to assist in the transition to new leadership.


Published April 12, 2019:
Even though Vallejo’s embattled police chief is set to retire April 30, he will continue to stay on as interim chief starting May 1 and, in effect, will receive two payments from two different taxpayer-funded sources. 

The unanimous decision by Vallejo city council Tuesday was opposed by angry members of the public at the meeting and online criticizing Police Chief Andrew Bidou for his five-year leadership of the Vallejo Police Department. One critical group has created a website to voice their opinions to city officials. 

Chief Bidou's retirement announcement last month came amid several high-profile misconduct cases involving his officers.

The city council’s decision to re-appoint the already-retiring police chief will allow Bidou to “double dip” and receive both his regular base pay ($125.77/hr) and retirement benefits for that time period.

The move, known as "double dipping," is controversial but it is neither uncommon or illegal. Law enforcement and city officials in Cleveland, OH are currently under fire for similar issues. 

Vallejo City Manager Joanna Altman said the arrangement was made because it will help the city save money. The City will no longer directly pay the employer share of the benefits because Chief Bidou will receive state retirement benefits. 

She said it will also help the city transition more easily. 

Chief Bidou’s appointment as interim chief will last until a new police chief is hired. There is a 960 hour fiscal limit to how much a retiree can work under California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Altman does not believe Chief Bidou will reach that limit. 

KTVU 2 Investigates reached out to Chief Bidou several times for an interview about the recent officer misconduct cases and his retirement. He declined our team’s interview requests saying he will only do interviews with local news outlets who “represent Vallejo.”