TRENTON - State officials have confirmed that Susan Bass Levin, a former head of the Department of Community Affairs who served four years as mayor of Cherry Hill, quit her part-time government job on the day she qualified for a state pension.
The Record of Hackensack reported Saturday that Levin, president and chief executive officer of the Cooper Foundation, the fund-raising arm of Cooper University Hospital in Camden, retired from the state's Local Finance Board on Nov. 1. That was the day she reached 25 years of state government employment, entitling her to early retirement and lifetime health benefits.
State treasury officials told the Record that Levin, 58, will start collecting monthly pension checks Dec. 1 for her maximum benefit of $5,312.11. The calculation was based on her three highest-paid years as a state employee - when she was community affairs commissioner - for an average $139,774.15.
Levin, a lawyer who also served as deputy commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, did not respond Saturday to a telephone message left at her home.
The Local Finance Board, part of the Department of Community Affairs, oversees municipal and county spending. It was not clear when, or if, Gov. Christie would name a replacement for Levin.
Then-Gov. Jon S. Corzine named Levin to the board, which pays commissioners about $12,000 plus benefits to attend 15 to 18 meetings a year. That allowed her to stay in the state's health and pension system.
Levin became community affairs commissioner in January 2002 after then-Gov. Jim McGreevey appointed her. She left in July 2005 to join Corzine's gubernatorial campaign, then returned as commissioner after Corzine's inauguration the next January. He appointed her to the Port Authority post in May 2007.
Levin left the authority, whose health and retirement systems are separate from the state's, last year to take the position at Cooper.