Former Grover Beach police chief double dipping again

February 5, 2016
Jim Copsey

Jim Copsey


Grover Beach Police Chief Jim Copsey is slated to again receive a salary and pension simultaneously while he works as interim city manager following City Manager Robert Perrault’s retirement on Feb. 16. The city council is expected to approve Copsey’s interim city manager contract at a Feb. 15 council meeting.

Copsey will receive an hourly wage will be in line with what the city paid Perrault, City Attorney Martin Koczanowicz said. In 2014, Perrault received a salary of $141,997 and $172,522 in total compensation.

On Dec. 28, 2014, Copsey retired from his job as police chief which made him eligible for his California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) pension. The next day, he began working as Grover Beach’s interim chief at a monthly salary of $11,071.

California law allows Copsey to serve as interim chief or city manager while collecting a pension for a total of 960 hours per year. Shortly before Copsey reached the maximum number of hours permitted as interim chief in 2015, the council unanimously approved 10-year-veteran of the department John Peters as the new chief.

The practice of collecting a pension while working for the government agency from which an employee retired has become commonly known in California as double-dipping. Several local public officials have done so in recent years, including former San Luis Obispo County undersheriff Steve Bolts, who received between $640,000 and $772,000 in combined salary and retirement pay in 2010.

Before he retired the first time, Copsey also increased his pension by becoming Grover Beach’s assistant city manager, in addition to the city’s police chief. The additional position pays $13,230 a year, which increased Copsey’s base salary to $144,192.

The practice of promoting a public employee or granting a sizable pay increase shortly before retirement is commonly known as pension spiking.

In 2014, California Controller John Chiang released an audit of 11 state and local government agencies where pension spiking was occurring. The audit indicated that taxpayers and local government are on the hook to pay nearly $800 million from legal pension spiking over the next two decades.


Grover Beach you can do better than to keep going back to the same folks over and over again. At least in AG we got Bob McFall as our interim city manager and he was GREAT.


Brought staff together people enjoyed going to work, he made himself part of our community in the short time he worked here.

As a resident it was refreshing to have a fresh friendly smiling face at city hall who would met with the residents and guide staff.

Now we have Dianne Thompson with a closed door policy, never smiles, does not know all the staff in all the depts even though she has been here 7 months. Won’t meet with the public and some commissioners. I think Copsey brings a bit to much baggage with him each time he comes back to fill in a position.





When you retire from CALPERS you have to wait six (6) months before you can go back to work. A lot of management positions do this to continue to increase their pension. John Dunn and Ken Hampien (retired City of SLO managers), Bill Statler (City of SLO City Finance Director), Warren Baker (Cal Poly President), etc. There is b9g rewards for doing this, raise the retirement benefits when you are running the hen house (Hampien and Statler) and then retire and then pick up a couple of side jobs a year for big bucks to another Government Agency.


It’s just like Hillary said, “It’s what they offered.”

Mitch C

Copses is a total POS


Mu neighbors son is in the Army. He has done 4 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and is in for 13 years so far.

His family is on food stamps.


All we ever hear from public sector employees is that these are isolated cases and the majority of employees do not have this perk. So I guess we should hear from all these same employees now that this is wrong and should be stopped, but for some reason we never hear from them. I’m guessing we also will not hear anything from the “regular” LEO’s of how wrong this is.


The sole focus of this city of Bell syndrome should be aimed at council members and city staff who knowingly promote this insider trading shell game of loophole bonanzas for the good ole boy network. Vote them out people. Question motives of your council members and hold them accountable for these absurd policies. While our economy is still in crisis civil servants are becoming multi millionaires on our dime.

Jorge Estrada

Taxpayer Yoga has replaced downward dog with grab you ankles.



Your post made my day….actually my week.

I’m just sorry for the public graft that makes your statement so true.