When City Manager Greg Nyhoff left Modesto on May 30 for another job, he left with a full wallet.
That’s because he cashed in 261.4 hours of unused vacation time, sick leave and one floating holiday for $24,780.72. That’s before taxes and other deductions, but it’s not a bad sendoff.
Modesto employees can cash in any vacation time and sick leave they have on the books when they leave the city’s ranks. The rules are that employees can cash in as much as two years of their annual vacation accrual, and they can cash in a quarter of their sick time if they leave the city in good standing after at least five years of employment.
Nyhoff earned 120 hours of vacation per year, according to his employment contract, and cashed in 113.9 hours, according to the city. He had 558 hours of sick leave and cashed in 139.5 hours. And he had eight hours of holiday time. Nyhoff – who was city manager for six years – earned $199,187.60 last year.
It’s common for public employees to cash in their leave time.
Of the 223 Modesto employees who earned at least $100,000 last year, two dozen of them cashed in a total of $284,911 in accumulated leave time to boost their earnings.
Those employees included Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Director Julie Hannon, who cashed in $21,385.25; City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood, who cashed in $31,091.44; and Public Works Deputy Director Gary DeJesus, who cashed in $21,035.30 when they left Modesto last year.
And in Ceres, Deputy Police Chief Mike Borges cashed in about $78,000 in accumulated sick leave and vacation time when he retired last year. Oakdale had three public safety workers cash in about $97,000 in vacation time and other leave when they left the city last year.
Nyhoff left to become city manager of Oxnard in Southern California.