County employees across Southern California continue to rake in unsustainable pay and benefits, according to data from Transparent California.
In Riverside County, county employees earned pay and benefits of more than $2 billion in 2017, a roughly 11 percent increase from the year before. In a county where the median pay for a full-time, private sector worker was $40,306, the median pay for county employee was about $66,291.
The highest paid county employee in 2017 was now-retired Assistant Sheriff Raymond Gregory, who was able to cash in nearly $417,000 of unused leave to bump his total compensation to $681,000.
In San Bernardino County, where the median earnings for private-sector workers is just $38,281, the median pay for county employees was $56,476 in 2017.
According to Transparent California, Sheriff John McMahon was the highest compensated county official, with $504,000 in pay and benefits. Close behind was Behavioral Health Medical Director Teresa Frausto, who received compensation of more than $482,000.
In Orange County, psychiatrists represented five of the top 10 highest paid county employees. Psychiatrist Pete Farrell topped the list with total compensation of $533,000, which includes base pay of over $240,000 and $60,000 in overtime. Coming in second was Undersheriff Don Barnes who took in total compensation of $460,000.
Finally, in Los Angeles County, excesses abounds. Last year, 209 county employees received over $100,000 in unused leave payouts, including 12 receiving payouts of over $250,000. Remarkably, overtime spending in the county’s fire department surged 52 percent from 2012 to 2017. Reflecting this, 645 county fire department employees received overtime of at least $100,000 in 2017.
Taking together the significant growth in government compensation and the ever rising burden of public sector pensions, it’s no wonder governments across the state are finding themselves overburdened.
With so much money on the line, public sector unions and politicians with their support have ensured little is done to alter this trajectory. Rather than talk about reforms, the status quo conversations are always about more revenue, more taxes.
Conscientious taxpayers should know that behind the pleadings from government for more money are the sorts of excesses revealed by Transparent California, and demand reforms, now.
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