The two candidates vying to be the next Bergen County Sheriff tangled over finances during the final debate Sunday at Temple Emeth in Teaneck, according to a NorthJersey.com report.
Incumbent Republican Sheriff Michael Saudino pointed his record keeping down overtime costs and cutting more than $5 million from the agency’s budget. The state comptroller’s office reportedly found Saudino’s overtime costs were among the lowest in New Jersey.
James Mordaga, the Democratic challenger, said Saudino’s overtime costs were up $200,000 in 2012 and said the agency budget overall has gone up in three years, according to the report.
Work from Hurricane Sandy and housing federal immigration detainees were to blame for those expenses, Saudino said in the report. Federal officials have reimbursed the sheriff’s office for both, he added.
Mordaga said his Republican opponent could save money by taking a paycut and making his undersheriffs who draw state pensions do the same. Saudino, a former Emerson police chief, earns a $138,000 salary as well as a $128,984 pension.
Both candidates said they supported merging the county police with the sheriff’s office.