A New York state employee who was less than two months away from retiring from a cozy job with a six-figure salary was terminated on Thursday after he accidentally butt-dialed a reporter and left a boasting message about how he only works two days a week.
“This morning, David Bookstaver was terminated from his position at the Unified Court System,” said Office of Court Administration (OCA) spokesman Lucian Chalfen in a statement, the New York Daily News reported.
Bookstaver worked as the spokesman for the OCA for two decades until his direct boss, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, retired at the end of 2015. He moved up to the high-ranking post of communication director – which pays a tidy $166,000 salary – and remained in the position for two years until the latest snafu.
Just six weeks away from retirement, Bookstaver managed to accidentally dial the phone number of a reporter while he was in the middle of bragging about his easy job, which saw him rake in a large amount of taxpayer funds for doing next to nothing. The revelation saw Bookstaver lose the few responsibilities he had, although he somehow held onto his title and salary.
“I spoke to [the reporter] on the record for a while,” Bookstaver admitted to the New York Post. “I said, ‘I’m in a much less visible position; that doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything.’ But, frankly, look, the bottom line: The story’s true. I’m not doing anything. I barely show up to work and I’ve been caught.”
As OCA spokesperson, Bookstaver was tasked with sharing information about the courts with the media and the public. He reported directly to the chief administrative judge.
“New Yorkers look to their court system for excellence and accountability, and we will always act to apply those standards to all of our employees across New York State,” Chalfen said. “While there are occasional abuses of office, we take those abuses extremely seriously, and whenever we learn about them, we will always act to hold the offenders accountable.”