ALBANY - Eleven state workers pulled down more than $100,000 in overtime alone last year. In 2012, five state workers did.
James Weeks, a corrections officer at the state prison in Coxsackie, Columbia County, earned the most overtime, a whopping $119,000 in 2013 -- on top of his $90,000 salary. He worked 3,067 hours of overtime, according to records released Friday by the state Comptroller's Office. That equates to 59 hours a week in overtime.
The Comptroller's Office on Friday released the top 20 overtime earners in 2013. The office said it did not have a full tally of total overtime cost in 2013 at state agencies.Second on the list was Robert Henry, a treatment assistant at the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton, Orange County. Henry was second last year too. In 2013, Henry received nearly $116,000 in overtime in addition to his $68,312 salary.
Three top overtime earners worked at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County. The most there went to Osas Imafidon, a corrections officer who got $99,000 in overtime, the records showed.
Imafidon earned slightly more in overtime than William Comfort, a corrections officer at the Elmira Correctional Facility, who received $98,736 in overtime.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in November warned that overtime costs at state agencies jumped 16 percent in the first nine months of the year and were on pace to hit a record $600 million in 2013. But Cuomo's office disputed the figures, saying much of the increase was related to storm-related cleanup and that the state has cut employment costs in recent years.
On Friday, DiNapoli warned about increases in overtime expenses.
"Overtime is becoming a costly habit for New York state," DiNapoli said in a statement. "After declines earlier in the decade, it is again on the rise and could break a record for 2013. State agencies responsible for managing this expense must ensure that work loads are appropriate and effective."
Weeks and Henry could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Stephen Madarasz, a spokesman for the Civil Service Employees Association, the state's largest public-employees union, said that major increases overtime costs would be attributable to cuts in staff, saying the state "uses overtime to a perverse degree."
"This should not be a surprise to anyone," Madarasz said. "Nobody should be blaming employees who are working mandated overtime."