Litigation sought in Lackawanna dispute over police chief's salary

Oct 20, 2015

A Lackawanna dispute over pay for the city police chief is now going to be thrashed in  State Supreme Court.

Lawyers for Chief James Michel have filed a lawsuit and immediately sought city records on pay. City Council President Henry Pirowski says the chief has received $36,000 in overpayments over three years.

Michel says he's being paid what his predecessors were paid,$80,000 a year.

"I took nothing that was not offered to me as my terms and conditions of working for the City of Lackawanna," Michel explained.

"So, I do not consider that I was overpaid in any manner. As was already brought up, I am probably one of the lowest salary and benefits in the entire county, even prior to this happening."

During a news conference in the offices of Michel's lawyer, Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack sat in, as first vice president of the State Association of Chiefs of Police. He says Michel's salary is far below comparable cities, so far below he says half of his command officers and detectives make more than Michel's $80,000.