Todd Hamski served 18 years on the Lower Makefield Police Force. He is a member of Pennsylvania’s National Guard and has been deployed overseas. He volunteers for the Feasterville Fire Company.
Hamski is also married and the father of young children.
Now, Lower Makefield Township filed a lawsuit in Bucks County Court of Common Pleas against Hamski, trying to claw back more than $50,000, which officials say they overpaid him. And they blame Hamski for the mistake.
In April 2005, the township supervisors approved a resolution to pay the difference between employees’ base pay and what they receive from the military while on active duty, the lawsuit said. A collective bargaining agreement governs police officers’ salaries.
In 2008, Hamski “recklessly and/or intentionally misrepresented to the township that he was lawfully entitled to compensation and/or benefits under USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment Rights Act), state and/or local law when he took time off work for military training and/or military deployment,” the suit said.
Hamski “misrepresented to the township that he was entitled to be paid for 360 hours when he was off from work during that period for military-related absences,” the suit said. So, the township’s “mistaken belief” that he was entitled to the money “made overpayment to defendant Hamski between 2008 and 2013.”
Also, “the township made overpayments to defendant Hamski between 2044 and 2021, which he was not entitled to,” the suit said.
In 2018, the suit said, Hamski “negligently, recklessly and/or intentionally” told the township he was entitled to “receive a medical stipend (healthcare buyout) while he was on military-related absences, although the contract with the police union said officers are not entitled to healthcare buyouts, the suit said.
The township also mistakenly overpaid Hamski in 2022 and 2023, the suit said. Hamski was deployed again in 2022.
While he was deployed, he “demanded” to be paid for 30 days, including overtime, and demanded to be paid certain benefits, including but limited to medical stipends, education and accreditation bonuses, and holiday pay, the suit said.
While the township did pay some of these benefits, it stopped while researching its legal requirements for military personnel while they are absent for military reasons, the suit said.
The lawsuit demands that Hamski repay the township for the overpayments.
“Defendant Hamski was unjustly enriched by the overpayments that rightfully belong to the township,” the suit said.
Lower Makefield asks the court to enter a judgment against Hamski for “in excess of $50,000, plus punitive damages, ongoing interest, delay damages and costs.”
Neither Lower Makefield Township Manager David W. Kratzer Jr. nor township Solicitor David Truelove would comment about the lawsuit. Hamski did not respond to requests for comment.
Former Lower Makefield DARE Officer Mike Pell, who was paid his full salary while out of work on disability after suffering a stroke in 2020, was recently hired by the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy. Police Chief Kenneth Coluzzi told DVJournal that the township has had a longtime policy of paying full salaries to officers who are out on disability.