The courts have spoken: even coked-up police officers on disability retirement who do construction work can deserve a $52,366.44 annual pension. The Court of Appeals yesterday decided that, because of some bureaucratic shenanigans, retired police officer James Seiferheld can keep his tax-free pension—despite the fact there is strong evidence he never should have gotten it in the first place. Everybody ready to get angry?

Back in December 2003, 12-year-vetern Seiferheld put in for retirement after he claimed to have suffered an on-duty injury to his shoulder while walking on ice and snow (i.e. he fell down). Within a month he was granted an early leave and awarded a three-quarters-pay pension. But by May of 2004 police were already investigating rumors that the former officer was using his shoulder just fine while doing construction work—they even say they got it on video. The police Medical Board reviewed the case three times and noticed that his "has improved dramatically."

So in April, 2007, Seiferheld was called back to duty. Great, right? Wrong. Seiferheld proceeded to fail a drug test (cocaine was found in his hair) and was medically disqualified from returning to work. In July, 2007, the city's Law Department striped Seiferheld of his pension, so naturally the married man with two kids sued. And though he lost in his first go round, he won in the Appellate courts and again yesterday in the Court of Appeals in a 6-1 decision that even the judges weren't happy to make finding "the case as a whole very troubling."

The Court of Appeals judges said a lower appellate court was correct when it ruled that benefits can be terminated only by the trustees of the Police Pension Fund, who had failed to do so. The did acknowledge the city's position had "common-sense appeal."

So now the coked-up construction worker will once again collect $4,363.87 a month from the city. And even better, he's planning to try and get the benefits he has been denied the past four years. "It is clear that given that the termination of his pension was unlawful and improper, he is entitled to the back monies," his lawyer, Robert Ungaro, told the Post.