The High Cost of Protecting the Mayor

CityBeat was first to report in April that Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory had decided to use police Specialist Scotty Johnson as his personal bodyguard, a story later picked up by other media (Bodyguards and Snitches). The full cost of Johnson’s new duties, however, is just beginning to emerge.

Since Johnson began protecting Mallory on April 19, he has received 42½ hours in overtime at a rate equal to time and a half of his normal pay rate, and received three hours at double his normal rate.

Through May 6, the end of the latest City Hall pay period, Johnson has made $1,954 in overtime. The figure includes a two-week period in late April and early May, when Johnson was paid $1,300 in overtime.

If that pace continues, Johnson — who has an annual salary of about $58,600 — is on track to make nearly $48,000 in overtime by year’s end. Some city council members dislike the arrangement, because Johnson’s salary and overtime are being paid by the police department, not the mayor’s office’s budget.

Johnson’s overtime usage also could yield some long-term benefits. The longtime police veteran is about five years away from being eligible to retire, and police pensions are based on the three highest-earning
years in an officer’s career.

— Kevin Osborne

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