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State controller finds more big public employee salaries, including $875,000 for hospital chief


State Controller John Chiang has released a new round of compensation figures for public sector employees, including a Bay Area hospital executive who made about $875,000 in 2009, and a San Gabriel Valley water official who was paid close to $600,000.

Chiang updated his government employee salary database this week, adding data from 539 special districts across the state.

The extensive project has now published compensation figures for over 600,000 city and county employees, and employees of over 1,000 special districts. The project comes during a period of greater scrutiny of government employee compensation following the salary scandal in the city of Bell, where eight officials now face public corruption charges. 

Chiang plans to release data for the remaining special districts and for state employees by June, spokesman Garin Casaleggio said.

“Controller Chiang is furthering his commitment to show Californians where their public dollars are being spent,” Casaleggio said.

The latest set of data covers several hundred land reclamation, levee maintenance, health, hospital and local water districts, according to a release from Chiang’s office.

Of the thousands of special district employees whose pay has been released so far, the top earner is the chief executive of the Washington Township Healthcare District, Nancy Farber, who made $873,598 in total wages in 2009. In addition to Farber, four other executives at the Fremont hospital rank among the top 15 most highly paid special district employees listed in the controller’s database so far.

A spokesman for the hospital referred to a statement on its website that defends the executive salaries, saying that the hospital needs to pay market rate to retain “top quality, professional staff.”

Most of the top earners come from other hospital systems, but there were some exceptions. For example, Timothy Jochem, the former chief executive of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, was paid $583,021 in total wages in 2009.

Peter Rodriguez, a spokesman for the district, said that the figure reflected a buyout that Jochem was paid when he left the district that year. Jochem has since died.

In addition to total wages, Chiang’s database details each employee’s base salary, retirement formula and deferred compensation. Casaleggio said that every county and all but six cities had submitted reports for the project. Of the special districts, 183 have failed to file reports and 92 have filed noncompliant reports and could face a $5,000 penalty.

The next set of data, planned for release in April, will cover a variety of public agencies including electric utilities and flood control districts.


Controller's salary database.

High salaries found at some California special districts.

-- Sam Allen

Photo: John Chiang. Credit: L.A. Times

Comments () | Archives (126)

no more taxes jerry til this gets cleaned up!

no more taxes jerry
you need to find all the waste
you will probably balance the budget
need to investigate all the "disabled" public employees
i here that is the biggest scam going

Lots of bugs needs more then sunlight. Pull back the carpet and watch the worms head for the shade. 275 failures, time to demand results. It is our tax dollars.

*A spokesman for the hospital referred to a statement on its website that defends the executive salaries, saying that the hospital needs to pay market rate to retain “top quality, professional staff.”*

That's the same excuse we hear from private businesses, defending multi-million-dollar salaries with equally-expensive golden parachutes. How about trying to pay them a reasonable amount, with bonuses only when they reach reasonable (not low-bar) goals?

Go ahead; tell me you're surprised at any of this?

The City of Bell is a microcosm of the State of California. They've been stealing from us for the last 30 years.

I wonder if you cut all of the salaries over $300k, in half, how much tax money would be saved.

Every government employee should pay a MINIMUM of 7.5% of their earnings, matched by their employer, paralleling Social Security, for their pension.

Or, scrap the pensions and put them on Social Security LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!

IT'S ALL A LIE!!!! A public official - Chiang - can't POSSIBLY be looking out for the taxpayer! Clearly, this is a ruse and no doubt Chiang is stuffing his pockets with the very taxpayer dollars he is stealing from other public officials like Rizzo!

can we put a cap on these now?

No wonder this country is broke.

No wonder California is broke, busted flat! I lived in L.A. from 1976 to 1992 and I saw the decline of a once great state and city. I now live in Texas, which, while not perfect (what state is?) basically tries to live within its means.

Lets keep raising taxes to pay for these high salaries!
Not like the roads, educatio, etc need any work...

I recently racked up a $470K hospital bill while unemployed and no medical insurance. I cannot pay this bill because I do not have the money. Being that is an unsecured debt, there is nothing the hospital can do to me.
After reading articles like this, and seeing all the illegal aliens using hospitals across the country and not paying their bills, I feel quite comfortable not paying mine. 90 % of the bill is cost related to cost shifting due to illegals not paying their bills and 9 % is the bloated salary of CEO's
I am American, white and born in the USA

Good ole deceptive Chiang.

Has he informed the kin of Marvin Gaye that he still holds tens of thousands of his assets in the unclaimed fund for the last 25 years?
And Natalie Cole's funds as well as Aretha Franklins and Berry Gordy?

Maybe the funds of A.A. entertainers are intentionally kept as is some of Nat King Cole's funds.

Of course, Chiang and the Calif state officials never heard of these folk, right?

And this is why middle and low income taxpayers are being asked to raise their taxes, so all this can continue. VOTE NO in June!

Aren't Teabaggers always saying how the government needs to be run like a corporation? Well, grossly overpaying executives is one way to do it.

"A spokesman for the hospital referred to a statement on its website that defends the executive salaries, saying that the hospital needs to pay market rate to retain “top quality, professional staff.”"
Of course! - Although I would be interested in a detailed listing of their duties and background. It certainly seems that once someone gets an "exectutive position", their primary functions are to attend meetings and review the performance of subordinates. Far too many organizations, like the City of Bell, use "retain top quality, professional staff" as a mantra to justify outrageous recompense.

We wonder why were a broke state?????

There is no public sector employee worth more than we pay The President of the United States which makes HALF of this FREAKS pay!
I say fire them and sue them to get our money back! they did not earn it. This is what you call UNJUST ENRICHMENT, and is actionable in civil courts.

Go get 'em, future Governor Chiang...

Pretty gutsy of John Chiang. He is going to get a lot of static for this

If these salaries are illegal, where has John Chang been for the last four years? What exactly is he supposed to be doing if not rooting out overspending in California?

The salaries of these elected and appointed executives are the outrageous "cost burden" on municipal and state budgets, not rank and file "Union" workers who are productive. The pay scales of California's municipal, union employees are in part determined by, are lower or equitable with, our civilian counterparts pay so don't fall for the "Greedy Unions are sucking us dry so let's GET EM!", propaganda.
Divided we fall.
6 years USN. 22 years Pasadena Municipal Water & Power employee, member IUOE local 501B.

It is still amazing to me that the GOP insists in going after UNION members when there is this abuse going on with taxpayer money.

WOW-- as a 20+ yr teacher I am making just over $60,000 and pay out-of-pocket for medical benefits and retirement contribution.

I deal with over 100 14-16 year olds daily as well as the ins-and-outs of NCLB and then go home to spend hours on parent contacts and grading/curriculum details. I am evaluated regularly and work very hard to meet the highest expectations of administration.

I have been very active in my union chapter and certainly would not have been able to if I did not have seniority rights for job protection. Contentious negotiation sessions and grievances (several taken to mediation where we prevailed) would have lead to administrative penalties/or job loss.

Why doesn't the GOP attack the real source of the financial problem?

Oh, that's right. The "problems" are the major contributors to the party.

So, public sector employees are underpaid at the management level, too. I am glad that all levels of public employees get a chance to be hogs at the public feedbags. Just working hard for the good of the children.

I think it's high time to drastically slash the salaries of these people. Half a million here, a million there. Californians are fools to put up with this. And if they want to resign after, then fine with me! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Go Chiang! Keep up the good work! Expose the excessive salaries and government compensation packages so that the out-of-control spending can be reigned in before California and the USA wind up being giant banana republics.

How much does John Chiang make?

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