Records Say Eight Superintendents Living at Luxe, State-Owned Mansions for Low Cost

 

    BY Kenneth Lovett
    DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF


    Sunday, January 31st 2010, 4:00 AM


    ALBANY - Prison inmates aren't the only
    ones getting taxpayer-funded housing.


    At least eight prison superintendents are
    living in the lap of luxury at low cost in
    state-owned mansions located on or near
    the prison premises, according to state
    records.


    At least one has a lake view.


    The best part for the superintendents, who
    top out at nearly $145,000 a year, is they
    pay a pittance for the posh
    accommodations.


    State Sens. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) and 
    Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) said it's time
    to revisit the arrangement given the cash-
    strapped state's fiscal problems.
     
    "These superintendents live basically for
    free in large and luxurious homes where
    they don't have to worry about having to
    pay property taxes," Klein said.


    Klein and Savino examined the housing in a
    report to be released today targeting
    savings at the state Correctional Services
    Department, which boasts at least 22
    warden houses.


    Shawangunk Correctional Facility
    Superintendent Joseph Smith lives in a
    6,968-square-foot home located at
    nearby Wallkill Correctional in Ulster County
    , according to the Klein and Savino report
    and other records.


    Smith, who makes $144,574 a year, pays
    the state $511.54 a month, according to
    Correctional Services Department records.


    The most any superintendent pays for
    housing is Joseph Bellnier of Marcy
    Correctional Facility. Earning $120,279 a
    year, Bellnier has just $373.40 deducted
    from his check every two weeks for housing
    - or $9,708 a year.


    "We shouldn't be subsidizing
    superintendents of prisons," Klein said.